Families with children with disabilities like autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy already face the huge financial pressure to manage at-home care. Unfortunately, school districts often worsen this pressure by not supplying the special education support that children with special needs are entitled. When that happens, the best thing that you can do as a parent is to learn what your rights are and seek educational advocacy.
Do You Know Your Rights?
If your child has a developmental disability, California public schools are required to hold an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team meeting with you. At this meeting, they are supposed to work together with you to assess your child’s needs and figure out what extra educational resources they will provide. The schools legally must provide these resources, but many do not.
Parents often find it impossible to challenge these decisions on their own. Schools are not fined for not providing this support, so they will often turn down parent requests so they can save money. This can mean that your child will not receive tutoring, specialized classes, or direct contact with educators specially trained to work with children who have disabilities. Children with developmental disabilities who lack these resources have a significant disadvantage in life.
Some parents seek to provide these resources on their own, but hiring your own special needs education team or opting for private school can costs tens of thousands of dollars per year. This is a cost most parents cannot bear and shouldn’t have to shoulder.
How Educational Advocacy Works
School districts know what they are required to provide, but they also know that if they choose not to offer them, the majority of parents will not fight the decision or they won’t know how. That’s where an educational advocate organization comes in.
An advocate will help you create an IEP that will maximize your child’s learning outcomes. They can research appropriate services for your child and attend IEP meetings with you. Most importantly, they know the laws and will make sure your IEP team and school district are performing their duties. If needed, they can file for hearings and represent you at those hearings.
If you have a special needs child, don’t miss out on your legal right to a proper education.
If you feel overwhelmed and you need help, please contact us.
American Advocacy Group is on the front lines every day, making positive change happen for people diagnosed with autism, Down syndrome and a range of diagnoses across the continuum. As a leading advocate for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, and the premier provider of the support and services people want and need, we understand the system and know how to take action in regard to your best interests.
CONTACT US FOR HELP.
Dial (877) 762-0702 or email us at [email protected].