Protecting The Plan: 10 Things A Special Education Lawyer Can Do For You And Your Child With A Section 504
If your child has a Section 504 Plan, they're federally protected against a number of things that can go wrong for them at a public or (federally-funded) private school. Having a learning or behavioral disability shouldn't preclude your child from having the best education, no matter what complications your family faces, and that's exactly what a special education lawyer can help you do.
1. Put The Right Plan Together For Your Special Needs Child
Whatever accommodations are needed to ensure your child's proper education and inclusion in activities, they should all be in the written 504 Plan, which you have every right to be a part of, whether or not the Plan was requested by you or the school.
2. Explain The Legal Intricacies To You
Your first responsibility is obtaining the documentation needed to demonstrate your child's learning or behavior impairment; however, the Plan can become complicated thereafter, and a special education attorney can explain all the intricacies and nuances to you and your child, including the rest of your and their responsibilities.
3. Assist If The Plan Doesn't Go As Planned
If you feel your child's educational journey isn't up to the specifications of the Plan, an attorney can help you get the program back on track.
4. Represent You During Changes To Your Child's Plan
Making alterations to the Plan may sometimes be necessary, but it could be difficult to get the school to work with you. No matter how busy administrators and teachers are, they're legally obligated to help you reformulate your child's goals and the means to meet them.
5. Help With Any Written Or Filed Notices
You may receive notices regarding your child's Section 504 that are unclear or otherwise worrisome; having a lawyer on standby enables you to act in your child's best interests, come what may.
6. Defend Your Child's Interest Against Discrimination
Especially if you ever perceive your child as being treated unfairly because of their disability or impairment, take quick and decisive action against it. You may need an attorney to do that.
7. Protect Your Child Against Bullies
Unfortunately, kids are being bullied all the time in schools, both public and private, sometimes with little help from the staff. Don't wait for things to spiral out of control if you feel your child is being bullied in any way, by any person.
8. Guide You And Your Child Up From Failing Grades
Failing grades can affect your child for the rest of his or her life, whether or not they're held back to repeat the school year. As soon as you are aware that grades are slipping, contact the school and/or your special education attorney to resolve whatever problem is causing the downward trend.
9. Advise You If You Feel The School Isn't Making The Grade
Anyone can create and write a plan, but it takes a special team of dedicated professionals to make it work. Should you feel the school isn't pulling its weight, legal advice can empower you to move the mountains needed to get your child the quality education you both aspire to.
10. Come To Your Rescue When You're Feeling Helpless As A Parent
If for any reason you feel as if it's you and your child against the world or against the giant machine that is the education system, there is help. Nobody wants their child falling through the cracks or being left behind, but no parent should have to go to great lengths to make sure that never happens. You and your child have rights, and a legal team of experts may be needed to enforce those rights, rescuing both you and your child from an over-crowded, under-funded, and often intimidating system.
Your family faces many challenges, but you're not going to encounter anything you can't handle together, particularly when you include the assistance of a special education attorney. They'll be ups and downs, of course, but ultimately, your child should still receive the same opportunities as everyone else and be able to make the most of them.