Raising a child with special needs can often be a difficult journey. Parents face unique challenges, complicated laws, and complex educational systems to ensure that their children receive the specialized support they need for success. That's why it is important that any parent of a student with special needs knows when and why they may need the help of a special education lawyer. Here are four reasons why parents should consider getting legal advice from an experienced attorney.
1. To Ensure Special Education Rights Are Met
Special education lawyers know the specifics of federal and state law regarding students with disabilities. This knowledge helps them to ensure that all rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are being met by school districts providing services to a child. An attorney can help parents understand their rights and the laws that school districts must follow when providing specialized instruction and related services to students with disabilities.
2. To Advocate for Additional Services
If a student's needs are not being met by what their school is providing, a special education lawyer can work with parents to advocate for additional services or accommodations. This could include working with schools to ensure that existing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) are properly implemented or developing new IEPs that better reflect the student's current needs. A good attorney will also be able to advise on which type of dispute resolution process—such as mediation or an impartial due process hearing—may provide the best outcome for the student.
3. To Negotiate with Schools
Even when parents are satisfied with their child's school, there may be times when it is beneficial to involve a special education lawyer. This could include negotiating changes to an existing IEP or requesting additional services from the school district. An attorney can help advocate for a student's needs and ensure that any agreement reached between the family and school district is fair and adequately reflects the student's individual needs.
4. To Protect Against Abuse or Discrimination
Unfortunately, situations do arise in which students with disabilities may face abuse or discrimination at school. In these circumstances, having a special education lawyer on hand can provide invaluable protection to the student and ensure that their rights are upheld. The lawyer can provide advice on which action to pursue, such as filing a complaint with the Department of Education or taking legal action against the school district.
In conclusion, having access to an experienced special education lawyer can be essential for parents of students with disabilities. From ensuring that a child's rights are being met to protecting them against abuse or discrimination, there are many situations when having the help of an attorney is beneficial. For these reasons and more, it is important that any parent of a student with special needs knows when they might need the assistance of a special education lawyer. When in doubt, don't hesitate to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney. Every child deserves the best possible chance at success.
For more information, contact a special education lawyer near you.