Special Education students are protected by several rights concerning their education. Once your child is diagnosed with a learning disability that effects their education, an IEP or 504 plan should be put in place to address all special needs. Many wonderful N.J. school districts will go above and beyond to provide necessary services to a child, while making sure the child is still integrated with other children in appropriate activities and classes. After all, it is every child’s right under the IDEA act to have access to a Free and Appropriate Public Education, in the least restrictive environment.
While the IEP process is usually fairly easy and can be handled between parents and the school district without the help of an attorney, some school districts will be adversarial and refuse certain services due to costs. As a parent, you have the right to request services you and your child’s health care provider are seeking. Some school districts have learned that they can fight against a parent’s wishes by denying placements, services, or accommodations. Unfortunately, many parents then give up and believe that the school has their child’s best interest in mind. However, this is the time you should consider hiring a special education lawyer.
When a school district has determined they will deny and fight you on the services you are requesting, they will use their own lawyer. As a parent, you have a right to consult with an attorney and have that attorney help resolve and settle the issues. An attorney will fight for your child’s needs and for the appropriate services you are seeking. Many times, just having an attorney to present the findings at the meetings gets the school district to reconsider their position. In other situation, the case can be brought to trial for a resolution.
Either way, as a parent you have options. If there are services that you or your child’s doctor have determined are appropriate for your child’s success, don’t let the school district be the one to decide otherwise. Consult with a special education lawyer.