Thursday, September 29, 2016

When Do I Need a Special Education Attorney?

If you are asking yourself this question, you probably have concerns with your child’s education or have questions as to the process.  Both are indicators it’s time to set up a consultation with an attorney in order to have your child’s educational program analyzed and receive the information you need to protect your child’s right to a free appropriate public education.

Whether it’s taxes, purchasing a home, seeking medical attention, or getting a car repaired, we seek information and expert opinions to educate ourselves regarding the matter.  While there are a multitude of resources available on the internet, not all of these resources are trustworthy but more importantly the application of this information is typically not applicable to your individual child’s circumstances.  I can read or watch a You-Tube video on how to change the air filter in my car, but if I get the hood open and the part is not as described, I will most likely end up causing damage to the engine rather than saving the money I had intended to save by trying to DIY.  The same unintended damage can happen to your child’s education.

We have clients who after researching their particular concern thought they should advocate for their child’s disability code to be changed not realizing the repercussions that would hold for their child’s future.  We have had clients agree to changes in placement for their child not realizing what types of behaviors their child would now be exposed to.  The list of Individualized Education Program (IEP) missteps, misunderstandings, and misguided good intentions is innumerable.  This is why the best answer as to when to hire an attorney is before there is a concern or a problem. It goes back to the old saying – be proactive rather than reactive.

The following scenarios provide examples of when you might also need a special education attorney:
  • If you are unsure as to whether your child is making progress.
  • If you have disagreed with school-based members of your IEP team.
  • If you have filed for mediation or due process without an attorney.
  • If your child has been disciplined in ways that you feel are not appropriate.
  • If your child is continually being sent home without being suspended or is suspended more than 10 days.
  • If you have been invited to a manifestation determination meeting and don’t know what it is.
  • If your child has been recommended for expulsion.
  • If the school team is recommending your child be sent to another school/program.

Do not put your child’s right to free appropriate public education at risk due to a lack of knowledge or understanding.  Special education involves not only the intricacies of the law but also knowledge of educational research and instructional methodologies.  Attorneys who practice in special education can guide you through the paperwork, processes, and advise you as to the appropriate actions to take based on your child’s individual needs. 

Our attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable about the law and all areas education.  If you would like more information, please contact the Law Office of Brian K. Gruber, P.C. to schedule a consultation.

Disclaimer:  This blog is made available by the Law Office of Brian K. Gruber, P.C. for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site, you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the publisher. The blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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