Ocean County Special Education Lawyer
If you have a child with special needs in Ocean County, you can count on Susan Clark Law Group LLC when you need a New Jersey special education lawyer on your side. Our attorneys not only have more than 100 years of litigation experience, but we’re also parents of children with disabilities. We understand the unique challenges your family faces.
About 13 percent of students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade who were enrolled in public schools have a disability, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. By law, children with disabilities and their families have specific educational rights and procedural protections, or special needs, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These include a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and specialized instruction in the least restrictive environment possible.
Whether your child has physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, sensory impairment, or behavioral or emotional disabilities, the law protects your child — and grants you the right to make decisions regarding his or her education. Let our Ocean County special education lawyers be your voice.
Contact us today for a free consultation about how we can help you stand up for your child’s rights.
When Do You Need an Ocean County Special Education Attorney?
Dealing with a school district and its interpretation of your child’s abilities and accommodations can be overwhelming. You might have heard the saying that children with special needs get special parents, but it’s hard to feel special when you think you’re not being heard.
You know your child and your family best. You can tell when what’s considered “adequate” under the law might not be in your child’s best interests.
The Ocean County special education attorneys at the Susan Clark Law Group LLC have fought for our own children’s educational rights, so we sympathize with parents and families doing the same. We’re here to support you with the information, advice, and resources you need when:
- Developing an IEP or a 504 Plan
- Handling school disciplines such as a suspension or expulsion
- Disputing school district decisions through mediation or a due process hearing
- Designating a guardianship or special needs trust
How We Help Families in Ocean County
The Susan Clark Law Group LLC wants you and your child to have the resources and reassurance to succeed. Our Ocean County special education lawyers are passionate about providing assertive representation while being sensitive to your child’s needs and your efforts on your child’s behalf.
Here are some ways we can help:
- Individualized Education Program (IEP) – Each school year, an IEP outlines the special accommodations and services the school provides to your child so he or she can reach his or her full learning potential. But this complex process can be discouraging if you do not agree with the program’s evaluation of your child, determination of eligibility, its objectives and goals for your child, or its services and accommodations. We’ll review the IEP team’s findings with you and advocate on your child’s behalf.
- 504 Plans – A 504 Plan is similar to the IEP process in that provides for accommodations to students with disabilities, such as technology aids, physical or behavioral therapy, extra time to take tests, modified textbooks, or physical modifications to a desk or a classroom. We’ll tailor this plan to meet your child’s needs.
- Out-of-District Placement – Arranging for your child to attend a private or charter school or a school in another district may be an option if you think your child’s current school doesn’t meet your child’s needs adequately. We’ll help you evaluate other options and plan how to make this change.
- School Suspensions – A suspension is a short-term disciplinary action but can be an emotional ordeal for a child with a disability. Such discipline also may not be warranted if your child’s disability was a cause or a factor in the objectionable behavior. We’ll represent your child at a hearing, gather evidence and witnesses, and ensure that he or she receives any emotional, behavioral, or other support.
- School Expulsion – An expulsion, which removes your child from a public school district, is the most serious disciplinary action a school system can take. It can affect your child’s life adversely. State and federal law guarantees students with disabilities the right to a fair hearing if they face expulsion. We’ll guide your child through this process, present his or her side of events, and appeal any disciplinary decisions that the evidence does not support.
- Mediation – You have the right under state and federal law to disagree with a school district’s decisions regarding your child’s education or well-being, particularly if your child is denied particular services or the district refuses to provide them. We’ll represent you at a state mediation session so you can resolve this conflict to your satisfaction.
- Due Process Hearings – If mediation is unsuccessful, another option for parents who disagree with a school district’s position on their child’s special education classification, services, or placement is a due process hearing. We’ll present evidence and legal arguments before an Administrative Law Judge to support your position and ensure that your voice and your child’s needs are heard.
- Guardianship – A guardianship allows parents to continue to make important decisions regarding the health care and schooling of children older than 18 who have a mental illness, developmental disability, or other diminished capacity. A guardianship also enables a parent or other trusted representative to access an adult child’s information from banks, hospitals, and government agencies. We’ll answer your questions about guardianship and shepherd you or someone your family trusts through the application process.
- Special Needs Trusts – A Special Needs Trust (SNT) provides a strategic plan to protect your child financially as he or she grows older. This type of trust is designed so that its assets are used solely for the benefit of an individual with a disability and are excluded from Medicaid rules. These trusts can be valuable in paying for living expenses, education, and medical care. We’ll help you establish an SNT for your child to be funded until your child reaches age 65.
Talk to a Knowledgeable Ocean County Special Education Attorney Now
At the Susan Clark Law Group LLC, we fight tirelessly for families of students in the Ocean County area with special needs so that every child gets the education, accommodations, and services they’re entitled to receive.
Whether you have questions about decisions that a school district has made about your child, want your child to have support services in a traditional public school classroom, or are considering placement in a different type of school setting, we’re here for you.
Please call us or contact us online today for the legal answers you need to empower yourself and lay the foundation for your child’s successful future.