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  • Writer's pictureAshley Carol

When Should You Hire a Special Education Advocate?

Children with #disabilities, ages 3 to 21, have access to public education because of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). According to data from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education, 7.3 million students—or 15% of all students enrolled in public schools—received #specialeducation or related services under #IDEA in 2021 and 2022 alone.

Special Education Services:

Services that cater to a child's specific learning requirements are included in #specialeducation. For those who qualify, an individualized education plan is provided (#IEP). Federal legislation stipulates that #students must have access to the least restrictive environment (#LRE) even if #specialneeds classrooms are available. Many children with #IEPs can attend regular schools and receive extra support because of the least restrictive environment requirements.

It can be difficult for parents to navigate the #specialeducation policies and procedures of the school. Parents want to make sure their child receives the help they need since they sometimes don't know about the laws that apply to them or the school system. Parents of special needs children reported more difficulties getting support services and school plans than parents of children without special needs, according to the Rapid Project study. Emotional unease was also higher among families with children who have #specialeducation needs. Special education #advocates can support a student's best interests and reduce family stress by offering information and direction.

Special Education Advocate Role:

Special education #advocates work closely with students and their families to ensure that they take full advantage of all #accommodations, #modifications, and services that are offered. Special education #advocates are professionals who, usually, carry degrees and years of #specialeducation experience and knowledge of the education law.

There are various ways in which a special education advocate can empower students and their families:

  • Formulating a plan for collaborating with the school

  • Outlining your child's rights in accordance with local, state, and federal laws

  • Recognizing and outlining the services, initiatives, and accommodations that are offered

  • Interpreting and communicating test results and reports

  • Creating #IEPs in collaboration with the student, parents, and #ARD committee

  • Composing grievances and demands for schools, as well as assisting parents in making requests

  • Preparing and participating in #IEP and #504 #

ARD meetings with parents

  • Checking special education records to ensure they are accurate before meetings

  • Describing the intricate legal framework for special schooling

A special education advocate can assist in identifying unnoticed variables that may be impacting your child's education, such as undiagnosed learning disabilities, in addition to assisting your child in accessing resources.

If you feel overwhelmed by the special education system, think your child's needs are not being met, or need assistance navigating educational difficulties, you may wish to consider hiring a special education advocate.

Considerations When Hiring a Special Education Advocate:

Your family will benefit from the expertise and support of a special education advocate when you decide to collaborate with them. The backgrounds, levels of education, and experiences of those providing educational advocacy services can differ because the position does not call for any kind of formal qualification or license. Parents and activists for special education can receive training from some organizations, such the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates.

To choose the finest special education advocate for your child, interview a few individuals and inquire about their credentials and professional experience.

Contact us today for all of your child's special education needs. We have over 14 years of experience, extensive special education law knowledge, strong relationships with school districts throughout Texas, and multiple happy clients.

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