First off, it is important to understand that lawyers are not all about lawsuits. They are also very good at reading documents and advising what can and should be done in a given situation. This includes helping you to understand what special education programs your child may qualify for and what the individual education plan (IEP) is offering. If you are going to have a meeting with the school about your child's special education needs, meet with a special education lawyer beforehand. Take any documents you have with you and then ask him or her to go with you to the meeting. Here are just a few ways it can help.
Helping You Navigate Legalese
Education laws are constantly changing. This is even more true when it comes to special education needs. A special education lawyer keeps up to date on all the new and changed laws for your state. He or she will be able to talk with the teachers and administration about what is available and what is required by law.
Making You More Comfortable
Since the attorney knows all the lingo, he or she can freely discuss the matters with the school board. This may make you feel less intimidated and more able to ask any questions you may have. As the meeting progresses, you may find you do not understand exactly what is being discussed. Your lawyer can explain things to you in a way that will help you without making you feel uneducated. He or she will also pose different questions you may have but are not sure how to ask.
Keeping the Peace
It can be very easy to become frustrated. You are trying to make sure your child gets all the education he or she needs, and, sometimes, it seems like the school is not obliging. Having a lawyer there with you can help to keep you calm. When you become agitated, you may not be understanding what is being said. This can lead to arguments and even more frustration. While you may not like how something is being done, your lawyer will keep you calm and explain to you why it must be done that way. The attorney, although working for you, will be an unbiased third party who has the same goal as you – getting your child the help he or she needs.
The laws and regulations regarding special education can involve a lot of red tape. Your child may need to have some testing done to help determine what is actually needed. Having legal representation to ensure everything possible is being done will ensure your child really does not get left behind.
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