When to Contact a Los Angeles Special Education Attorney?
Los Angeles Special Education and Conservatorship & Trust Lawyers
Education is a right, and your special needs child deserves equal access to education. Public school teachers and administrators aren’t doing you a favor by making accommodations for your child. Equal access to public education is the law.
The Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that requires schools to provide Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to students with disabilities. Children with disabilities must be afforded the same educational opportunities as their peers. That’s why schools are required to provide instruction in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), which means servicing your child in a general education classroom when possible.
As the parent or guardian of a special education student, you have the right to be informed about all placement decisions and the placement process. At Woodsmall Law Group, we’re here to help ensure your requests are met and that your child gets the education they’re entitled to.
In addition to helping parents resolve special education issues, Woodsmall Law Group offers assistance with related financial and legal issues that impact your family. Our services include:
- Making sure your child with a disability is receiving FAPE.
- Assisting with placement disputes.
- Making sure your school is following your child’s IEP.
- Legal representation for mediation and due process hearings.
- Conservatorship for someone with I/DD.
- Estate planning and trust administration for an adult-dependent with I/DD.
If you have questions or concerns about any of these issues, please call (626) 440-0028 to schedule a FREE initial consultation with Woodsmall Law Group today.
When Your Child Isn’t Receiving FAPE
Your child’s Individual Education Program (IEP) is a legally binding document that spells out the services your child will receive. The IEP team will involve the child’s guardians, a special education teacher, a general education teacher, a school psychologist, and any specialists needed to develop the plan.
An IEP meeting is required for special education placement and generally takes place every year. A parent or guardian must be provided with prior written notification regarding all IEP meetings. Your input and opinion should be sought regarding all placement decisions that impact your child. At Woodsmall Law Group, we can assist you with the following IEP concerns:
- Is your child’s IEP being properly implemented?
- Are the student’s IEP goals being met?
- Were you given the opportunity to contribute to the IEP?
- Were you given prior notice about any changes to your child’s program?
- Were changes made to your child’s program that contradict their IEP?
- Is there a less restrictive environment where your child’s needs could be met?
- Is the IEP designed to best meet your child’s needs?
- Does the IEP contain specific language explaining how services will be provided?
Resolving Placement Disputes
If you are unhappy with your child’s placement, you have the right to request an IEP in writing. The district must hold a meeting within 30 days, not including summer break or school vacations that last longer than 30 days. You are allowed to audio record an IEP meeting but must notify the school at least 24 hours in advance. You also have the right to request an Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) if you have concerns about your child’s placement.
If you have a placement dispute with your child’s school, there are legal options available for challenging the school’s decision, including:
- Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a facilitated IEP meeting conducted by an impartial mediator.
- Uniform Complaint Procedure (UCP) allows you to file a complaint with the school superintendent or their designee. Your complaint may include unlawful discrimination, intimidation, harassment, or bullying.
- Filing a California Office of Administrative Hearings due process hearing can address placement, IEP eligibility, program services, and other concerns about the services your child is receiving.
- You can file a complaint with the California Department of Education (CDE) for the following reasons:
- Failure to implement an IEP
- Failure to refer your child for placement
- Failure to assess your child’s needs
- Failure to follow timelines for assessment and referral
- Failure to inform parents about an IEP meeting
- Legal guardians may file a complaint with the Federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR) regarding civil rights violations committed by any school that receives federal assistance.
Conservatorship, Estate Planning, and Trust Administration for Your Child with IDD
If your child has an intellectual and developmental disability (IDD), you may be looking for legal assistance with establishing a conservatorship or planning for their future. At Woodsmall Law Group, we can help you develop a plan that addresses the following concerns for your IDD child:
- Supported decision-making
- Estate and trust planning
- Daily assistance
- Access to benefits
Is Your Child with Disabilities Getting the Services They Deserve?
Parents of children with disabilities have the right to request a written plan that addresses how the school will provide services to ensure equal access to education. If your child isn’t receiving the support they require, contact Woodsmall Law Group right away.
We are committed to serving the parents and children of Los Angeles County, specifically within the San Gabriel Valley. We have been helping families make the most of their educational opportunities for over 18 years.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s educational placement or the services they are receiving, please call us at (626) 440-0028 to schedule a FREE initial consultation. We speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Polish, and Spanish.