Many parents resist enlisting the help of an education attorney when their child’s educational rights are being violated. For some there is a fear of confrontation with a school or district. A parent might fear retaliation that could affect their child, or may wonder if they’re doing the right thing. Parents might even generally fear the unknown.
The truth is, you never truly know if you’re doing the right thing. This is why you need someone you trust, who is knowledgeable about special education to lead the way.
Recognize The Need For Help
Many of us lack the confidence we need in ourselves as parents to make the right decisions about something as precious as our special needs kids’ futures. As my twins with autism began their journey through preschool I knew that:
- my children were only getting a fraction of what they required from the schools
- the school had dismissed every one my concerns over and over again in the two short years they had been in preschool, only to see that I had been right in my concerns later on
- much of the school staff were stretched too thin to make any meaningful change in the broken system.
- what I was doing wasn’t working enough for anyone to take my concerns seriously.
I felt placated and dismissed.
Schools Are Not Working With You
Many parents assume that if they work with the school and compromise, the school will do the same. The reality is that in most districts, they will continue to provide as little resources as they possibly can for as long as they can. I needed someone knowledgeable about the district I was dealing with, and also stern enough to get the results needed.
Going into my children’s kindergarten year I saw that things weren’t getting any better, in fact they were only becoming worse. I also knew that the way I responded would set the tone for the rest of their schooling. If I decreased my expectations of the school, the school in turn would decrease their expectations of my children.
If my kids were going to have a chance at showing the world what they were capable of, it was only going to happen if I pushed the school to help them access their full potential.
My Decision To Hire An Education Attorney
In desperation, I finally made the call to Greg. My only regret is that I hadn’t done it sooner. For the first time I felt the district was taking my concerns seriously and actually listening to me. I no longer had to stay up until 2am researching different state and federal laws and regulations, planning an effective strategy to use during yet another IEP “discussion”. I finally felt someone other than myself had the best interest of my kids at heart.
The stress of being patient and waiting for a resolution and a response from the district to what I was willing to accept for my children was probably the hardest part of the process. But this process changed the tone of the way the school and I interacted. My kids were never treated poorly as a result of my decision to involve an attorney. In fact the opposite was true for me, my children were finally receiving the services and placement they required and were entitled to.
Many people forget that the IEP is an important legal document. An education attorney like Greg or Nikkie will advocate for your child and ensure that this legal document will provide maximum benefits.
The question shouldn’t be why should you hire an attorney, but rather why wouldn’t you hire an attorney to handle such an important legal matter.