What are the responsibilities of a special education attorney?

The process of qualifying for, establishing, implementing and measuring an IEP or 504 Plan for a child with disabilities is intended to be a constructive and “non-adversarial” process. And you wouldn’t think you need a special education attorney.

Unfortunately, aside from placing a child in a special needs class, many schools seem reluctant to provide special needs students with the accommodations and services they need to allow them to learn among their peers.

While schools are in place to educate all children, they often “naturally” push back on individualized needs. And they know that most parents consider school administrator’s authority figures that have the best interest of the child at heart. They also assume that most parents don’t know their own rights parent or the rights of their child.

This gives them the tremendous flexibility to not do what is in the best interest of individual children. If you’re concerned that the school may not be giving you the resources to which you are entitled under the law, then engaging with a special education attorney is in your best interest.

How can a special education attorney help?

A special education attorney acts as an advisor, mediator, and if necessarily is prepared to take legal action. The special education attorney:

  • Is familiar with regulations surrounding a child’s rights to an education.
  • Can guide parents through the process of securing appropriate programs and services under the law.
  • Helps parents identify unique needs by referring parents to reliable specialists for evaluations (Speech Therapy, Psychiatry, Occupational Therapy, etc.)
  • Reviews evaluations and determines what additional services your child may be entitled to that the school is not offering as part of the plan.
  • Knows the processes and steps to take for litigation, mediation, and negotiation.
  • Can inform you of risks and benefits of taking or not taking further legal action.

How do you know when it’s time to hire a Special Education Attorney?

If you’re concerned that your child is not getting the accommodations and services that the IEP or 504 evaluation warrants, you should consult a Special Needs Attorney.

Their ultimate responsibility is to you and your child.

They’ll put their specialized knowledge and expertise to work to assure that the schools are not violating your rights. At the very minimum, you should request a consultation with a special education lawyer, which is often free or very reasonably priced.

During a consultation, the attorney will be able to discuss a broad overview of your circumstances and help you understand your rights and if they are being violated.

We would do anything for our children. And it’s disheartening when an institution that we trust to have our child’s best interest in mind seems hesitant to help. But this is the time to reach out for additional assistance from someone who knows your rights and how to get your child what he or she needs.

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