You might never need a lawyer if your special education student is doing well and everything seems to be going according to plan. To assist you to advocate for your kid, it may, however, be necessary to hire or, at the very least, contact an attorney at some time throughout your child’s schooling.
Parents of children with special needs will go to great lengths to ensure that their children are content and growing up in a nurturing atmosphere. Many parents believe they can manage it on their own when it comes to communication with their child’s instructors and the administration of the school about their education.
Yet as a parent, you might consider some reasons whether you need a lawyer.
- Complexity of the case:- Your chances of benefiting from legal counsel increase as your case becomes more complex. For instance, the expertise of an attorney with specialized knowledge and experience may be required in a dispute involving complex placement and service concerns.
- Your relationship with the district:- The connection between you and the school system could alter if you hire a lawyer. When attorneys are involved, the environment changes to one that might be adversarial. You might expect increased caution from school staff members who could perceive you as a problem or a noisy wheel. Of course, your relationship with the school system has already altered if you are considering hiring an attorney at this stage. Additionally, the welfare of your child comes before a friendly connection with the school system.
- Understanding testing:- School psychologists, special education teachers, and other professionals in similar fields have spent years in school learning how to administer tests and interpret the findings. The majority of parents lack training in the terminology used to submit data.Your assessments, progress reports, and other data can be reviewed by a special education lawyer or competent special education advocate who can then explain to you what they mean, how they apply to your kid, and what services your child may or may not be entitled to based on those results.
- Your time and energy:- You might want someone else to take over if you have a demanding schedule, a full-time job, or are a single parent. On the other hand, you might not need to hire a lawyer if you have the time and energy to advocate for yourself and your kid.
- Your child is not making meaningful progress:- As a parent, you are the only one who truly knows your child. You could think that your kid isn’t improving in their present course of study. If this is the case, you must consult with a special education lawyer or advocate who has the necessary training to analyze your child’s development—or lack thereof—and help you get the program and/or services they need to make significant progress.
How a Lawyer Can Help
In general, a lawyer can assist you in one of two ways. While you handle the majority of the work in the individualized education program (IEP) process, a lawyer can offer guidance and support as needed or act as your formal representative. You have the option of having a lawyer manage the entire IEP process from start to finish or just specific duties.
Remember, every state has a different rule when it comes to special education. The laws of New Jersey will not be the same as Arizona laws. So, if you are deciding to hire a lawyer, hire a local one. For instance, If you are living in New Jersey, hire a New Jersey special education lawyer. They will know the local laws and will be able to help you to a great extent.