Parents raising a child who has special needs might need to work with a special education attorney to ensure the child receives the services he or she requires. The first priority involves establishing a professional relationship with the teachers and administrators involved in educating students who possess one or more learning disabilities. However, relationships between parents and school districts can go south, which leave a qualified special education attorney as the most effective advocate for your child.
Attaining the special education services your child requires includes meeting all of the criteria used to assess your child’s learning capabilities. A special education attorney helps you receive an evaluation for your child to determine if your child qualifies for special education services. Your special education attorney also prepares the materials and documents filed for a special education evaluation. You should ask the attorney to accompany you to the evaluation meeting. Special education attorneys promote the rights of your child as covered by several state and federal special education statutes. Your attorney will resolve disputes and negotiate with the school to obtain special education services for your child.
Parents must consider a number of factors to determine whether they should hire a special education attorney. The ultimate question remains is the school meeting your child’s educational needs. If you cannot get the services your child needs, you should contact a licensed and experienced special education attorney. How much time and energy do you have for devoting to helping you child receive the special education serves he or she needs? Many parents work full time and with all of the other obligation, simply do not have the time and energy required to address all of the legal issues.
The complexity of special education law might be the reason you contact a special education attorney. Some cases that involve special education issues require the legal expertise of an accomplished attorney. Legal fees can take a huge bite out of your budget. When it comes to suing a school for depriving your child of special education services he or she needs, most attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis. For the other legal responsibilities, such as filing paperwork and attending school meetings, you can expect a special education attorney to charge by the hour. It is difficult to weigh the costs versus the benefits for your child, but the education needs of your child should come first.
Finally, and perhaps most important, the relationship that you have with the school determines whether you need a legal intermediary to advocate for your child. Relationships between schools and parents can deteriorate quickly, especially during negotiations for special education services.
The first factor to consider is not just whether the attorney under consideration has special education law experience, but how much experience does the special education attorney have. It is common sense to assume that an attorney who specializes in special education law will get more done than the work performed by an attorney who is an expert in consumer protection law. However, you want a special education attorney who has amassed considerable experience both inside of a court room and within a school district handling special education law cases. You want an attorney who expresses genuine empathy for your child’s learning disability, as well as possesses a dogged determination to get all of the special education services your child deserves. Above all, make sure to hire an attorney you can establish a strong relationship with throughout the lengthy legal process.
Contact a California special education attorney today to schedule an initial consultation to determine what steps the attorney can take to help you and your child.