Parents of children with special needs know that navigating the education system can be difficult. There are many challenges that these families face that others simply do not.
Despite laws that are meant to safeguard the rights of children with disabilities, there are times when they are still treated unfairly when it comes to getting the special education services they are entitled to. No parent should have to fight the system alone. Working with a special education lawyer can make a difference.
The dedicated New Jersey special education attorneys at Susan Clark Law Group, LLC, help parents defend the rights of children who deserve more than what they are getting at school. If you’re struggling to get your child what he or she needs, schedule a free consultation with us today.
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What is Special Education Law?
Special education law falls under the umbrella of education law. This subcategory addresses the rights of children that are diagnosed with disabilities that can impact their ability to perform at school.
There are currently millions of children with physical, mental and developmental disabilities in New Jersey and the United States. As these children enter the education system, they need accommodations to help level the playing field between themselves and their classmates without disabilities.
State and federal laws have been enacted to help children, families and schools adapt to accommodate these needs. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and No Child Left Behind are just a few of these.
Special Education Lawyer Vs. Special Education Advocate
A special education lawyer and a special education advocate are not the same thing.
A special education advocate can perform many tasks, such as:
- Helping parents prepare for Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and 504 meetings
- Reviewing a child’s IEP or 504 and making suggestions for accommodations
- Attending meetings and negotiating with the school on the parents’ behalf
- Recommending specialists and service providers
A special education advocate cannot:
- Provide legal advice
- Represent families in a legal capacity
- Help prepare or file legal documents
A special education lawyer can perform all of the tasks of an advocate, but also provide legal insight and represent families during legal processes such as mediation, impartial hearings and more.
Depending on your needs, your family may only need the services of a special education advocate. But if you have questions about whether your child’s rights are being violated, it’s essential to contact a knowledgeable special education attorney who can stand up for you.
Reasons to Hire a Special Education Lawyer in New Jersey
There are many reasons to hire a special education lawyer in New Jersey. Special education attorneys can help when:
- An agreement on the IEP or 504 cannot be reached.
- The county or school district has made changes to your child’s accommodations without informing you.
- Your child is not making appropriate progress.
- You are having trouble getting your child into special education programs when the school or district disagrees on his or her needs.
- You need to appeal after an administrative special education decision has been made.
- Your child is being discriminated against or bullied.
- You feel that your child’s rights will be best protected by obtaining legal counsel.
The attorneys at Susan Clark Law Group, LLC, always work for the child and the family to obtain the best resolution possible based the unique circumstances of their case.
New Jersey Special Education Laws
New Jersey has many special education laws. Some of the most important include:
- Each child has the right to free, appropriate public education no later than their third birthday.
- Children with disabilities that require special education have a right to free education as they advance from grade to grade.
- Children with special needs have the right to education that is based on their needs and not their disability.
- Students with disabilities have the right to be educated in the least restrictive environment.
- The rights of students and their families are to be protected and upheld at all times.
A New Jersey special education lawyer can fully explain all of the state’s special education laws and how they apply to your particular situation.
How Susan Clark Law Group Can Help Your Child
If you suspect that the school or district is not upholding your child’s rights, you need the help of a New Jersey special education lawyer.
Many times, families are unaware of how many protections are actually in place for their children with special needs. The skilled attorneys at Susan Clark Law Group, LLC, have the knowledge and experience needed to make sure that all of your child’s educational needs are being met.
Contact us today for your free consultation so we can help ensure a full and fair education for your child.