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Abstract

Manifestation Determination Review (MDR) advocacy is difficult regardless of the role of the advocate —whether the advocate is a parent, an advocate, or an attorney. Because the MDR is conducted as an Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team meeting, if consensus cannot be reached, school personnel make the ultimate decision. Therefore, the advocate’s persuasiveness and preparedness at the MDR will be critical in arriving at a consensus. This Article goes beyond the basic legal framework for an MDR and focuses on practical suggestions and approaches to enhance an advocate’s efforts on behalf of a child or client. By employing the suggestions outlined in this white paper, we hope that advocates will be able to go into an MDR better prepared, have strategies to possibly avoid such a meeting, increase the number of positive decisions coming out of the MDR, and have a clear direction for next steps regardless of the outcome.

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