Children with learning disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are often eligible for special education programs and accommodations in New Jersey. But it can be challenging to access these benefits without an official diagnosis. To complicate matters, there is no definitive medical test — like a genetic test or a blood screening — that can confirm a diagnosis of autism. However, there are gold-standard psychological evaluations of developmental, cognitive, and behavioral characteristics that that can be used for a diagnosis when a child is old enough.
The Freehold special education attorneys at Susan Clark Law Group LLC work with New Jersey families who are grappling with the challenges of getting educational supports in place for their children. If you have a child with special needs or believe your child is showing signs of autism or a learning disorder, our Freehold lawyers can help ensure that your child is treated fairly at school.
To learn more about how we can help, call or contact us today for a free consultation.
Signs of Autism in Children
Medical professionals sometimes detect ASD as early as 18 months of age. However, most children aren’t officially diagnosed until they reach school age or later. Early signs of autism might include:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Becoming upset over small schedule changes
- Limited language skills
- Disinterest in caretakers or other kids
- Repetitive behaviors
- Preoccupations or “obsessions” with a certain toy, object, or activity
Your pediatrician can provide broad screenings for autism in your child. Getting an assessment from a specialist, such as a child psychiatrist or psychologist, can help confirm a diagnosis and provide the documentation that schools need to determine a child’s eligibility for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan.
Signs of Learning Disabilities in Children
Many different types of learning disabilities can impact children, including dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. Early signs depend on the type of disorder and might include things such as:
- Poor handwriting
- Difficulty with expression or reading comprehension
- Sensitivity to touch, light, smell, or taste
- Difficulty learning to count and recognizing numbers
Make sure to mention any learning concerns that you have with your doctor. A variety of professionals, such as occupational therapists and reading specialists, can assist children who are struggling, even as toddlers.
Who Should I Contact if I Think My Child Has Special Needs?
If you think your child has special needs, it’s critical to speak with your pediatrician. He or she can help evaluate your concerns, review your child’s development, and recommend medical or other exams to rule out other possible explanations for his or her differences.
Your child’s teacher or school administrators can also help provide invaluable insight into how your child is doing in school compared with their peers. However, if you are having trouble getting the testing or accommodations that your child needs, contact an experienced special education attorney right away. You have rights in New Jersey, and a lawyer can help you enforce them.
How Can Susan Clark Law Group Help Me?
It can feel overwhelming to navigate the educational system when your child has special needs, but you don’t have to face it alone. A trusted special education attorney at Susan Clark Law Group LLC can help you identify and obtain the support your child needs to reach his/her full potential. We’ll remain by your side as we help you fight for your child’s best interests.
Ready to get started? Call us today or contact us online today for a free consultation.