It's no secret that parents will do anything for their children, especially when it comes to their child's education. Education is one of the most important parts of childhood, and all children should have equal access to a great education. Unfortunately, equal access to education isn't always so easy to achieve, especially for children with disabilities. Under the law, children with disabilities are entitled to certain services to make sure they receive the same education as everyone else, but ensuring this actually happens is a different story.
Every child with a disability needs an advocate; as a parent, you might feel you're the best person for the job. However, with all the legal jargon thrown around the education system, a special education attorney can be the perfect advocate to help your child get the best education possible.
1. They know your child's rights. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires all schools to provide services, such as early intervention, to children with disabilities. When you meet with your children's school, you might not know if the school is providing everything your child is entitled to under the IDEA law. A special education attorney can inform you of your child's rights, and hold your child's school accountable to ensure they're following the law completely.
2. They can interpret tests and results. When a child is receiving special services they will most likely be evaluated by psychologists, and take tests to determine where they are mentally. Interpreting the results of tests, progress reports, and evaluations can be difficult without formal training. A special education attorney can help you sort through this data and help you understand how it applies to your child and their future.
3. They can help review your child's Individualized Education Program (IEP). Your child's IEP is essentially a contract between you and your child's school district. Regardless of what you discuss in meetings, if something isn't stated in the IEP, it doesn't need to be implemented. Just like any other legally binding contract, an attorney can help make sure all pertinent information and appropriate services are detailed in the contract.
4. They allow you to just be a parent. It's hard to juggle so many different roles when you're advocating for your child's education. Not only do you have to provide emotional support to your child, but you also have to collaborate with your child's educators, especially during meetings with the Committee on Special Education, a appointed team that helps students with disabilities. A special education attorney can take on all those other roles so that you're not overburdened.
Nobody is going to care about your child's future as much as you, but working with a special education attorney, like the Law Office of Mark W Voigt, can help make the process of creating a bright future for your child a little bit easier.