So, you or a teacher noticed some delays or challenges in your child’s learning process or your child has been identified or diagnosed with a disability, and the school has developed a 504 plan or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for your child. This process is supposed to be a collaborative effort between the school and the parents to help develop a plan for a child who is facing challenges learning. Unfortunately, the process can become adversarial due to push-backs from school districts, especially when more is required of them in the IEPs that have been developed. So, school districts respond, “No,” sometimes believing that parents don’t know enough about the special education laws or the rights for their children.
It is at this point that many parents choose to consult with an experienced special education attorney. With a free 30-minute phone consultation, Attorney Rachel Platt, will listen to you to gain a clear understanding of your priorities and present an assessment of your case based on the facts you provide.
Retaining an attorney for special education law matters can help you in several ways based on financial considerations: a lawyer can provide advice and assistance as needed throughout the entire IEP process while the parents do most of the work, or a lawyer can be directly involved as your formal representative. In essence, you may choose to have a special education lawyer do everything from beginning to end in the IEP process, or you may have the lawyer handle only certain tasks, including but not limited to:
- Securing your child’s school files;
- Requesting an evaluation or an IEP meeting;
- Preparing for the IEP eligibility meeting;
- Preparing for the IEP program meeting — including drafting parts of the IEP and suggesting what material will be most effective;
- Attending an IEP meeting;
- Reviewing evaluations and IEP forms before you sign them;
- Researching a specific legal issue that applies to your situation;
- Helping you informally resolve a dispute with the school district;
- Assessing the strength of your case, if you’re considering filing a complaint;
- Preparing for and attending hearings;
- Writing post-hearing briefs;
- Preparing a complaint for you to file with the appropriate educational agency; and
- Representing you in court.
Sometimes, attorney’s fees in special education law cases are recoverable. In other words, if you succeed, you could be awarded a portion, or all, of the money that was spent retaining the services of a special education attorney.