As a parent, you want to make sure that your child receives the best education possible. If your child has special needs, it is frustrating when you feel like the school district isn't on the same page. Hiring a special education lawyer helps ensure that your child gets the education he or she is entitled to. Check out some of the signs that it is time to consult a special education attorney to help you face the school system.
1. You Don't Know Your (and Your Child's Rights)
With so many laws and regulations governing education, it is easy to misunderstand or misapply these rules. If you don't know what accommodations your child is legally entitled to, a consultation with a special education lawyer gives you the knowledge that you need to help your child succeed. Understanding what changes the school is legally required to make also helps you form realistic expectations concerning your child's learning environment.
2. The School District Refuses to Stick to Your Child's 504 Plan
A 504 plan lists specific accommodations that your child's school must make to help your child achieve academic success. The 504 plan is created after an evaluation to diagnose any disabilities that your child may have. Some of the items found in 504 plans may be reading tests out loud, allowing your child to answer test questions verbally, or offering extending time for testing.
Since the 504 plan is created based on your child's disability and special needs, it is essential that the school follow it at all times. If you have issues with the school constantly refusing to follow portions or even all of the 504 plan, it is time to talk with a special education lawyer. Schools are required by law to adhere to the plan; when they don't, you need to seek legal council, as this may be considered discrimination.
3. You Disagree with the School District on a Key Component of Your Child's Education
Even when a 504 plan is in writing, your child's school may disagree on how to interpret certain details of the plan. For example, some 504 plans state that children should have access to certain types of technology, such as tablets, to facilitate the learning process. The school may try to limit your child's use of electronics, either due to ignorance or a misunderstanding of the importance of the accommodation. A special education attorney can tell you if a lawsuit should be filed over the disagreement or if the school is violating any laws with its actions.