Navigating the special education system can be overwhelming and emotionally challenging for family members of children with disabilities. From a professional and personal perspective, our Special Education team recognizes the difficulties that parents encounter in raising a child with special needs. We help families understand their children’s rights, and will advocate on their behalf to ensure they receive the instruction and other services to which they are entitled.
With special needs parents themselves as members of the practice, our counsel regarding families’ procedural and substantive rights is informed by first-hand experience. Clients value our strategic advice on becoming effective advocates for their children and establishing a cooperative and collaborative relationship with their school districts. When disputes arise, we represent parents before the state Office of Administrative Law and in federal courts to ensure that schools comply with applicable education laws and provide children their rightful education and services.
Our broad range of legal services includes:
- Offering guidance on Early Intervention and Referral Services
- Advising on Eligibility for Special Education and related services
- Reviewing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
- Attending IEP meetings with the child study team
- Assisting parents in resolving program and placement issues
- Assisting parents when their children are being harassed or bullied by other students or adults
- Representing parents in mediations and due process hearings before the state Office of Administrative Law, and in litigation in federal and state courts
Connell Foley is also uniquely equipped to assist family members in planning for the future financial security of children with special needs. Lawyers from our Elder Law and Special Needs Planning Group advise individuals with disabilities and their families in establishing trusts and other mechanisms to ensure the long-term financial security of those with special needs. Among other services, we assist with filing guardianship applications and preparing Special Needs Trusts.