Articles & Videos on Special Education and the Law
The difference between educational and legal advocacy and representation.
What is an advocate? When do you need an attorney? These questions are best answered by making a distinction between educational and legal advocacy in the context of the individualized education plan ("IEP"). Generally speaking, an attorney addresses disputes that arise from the educational program. An advocate address the educational program until a dispute arises. This distinction is often blurred because defining the moment that a dispute requires an attorney can be difficult. In practice, an educational advocate and attorney play different roles and can work together as part of your team....
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Attending an IEP meeting can seem like a daunting task, especially if you're feeling resistance or disagreeing with an aspect of the program or services. Self-advocacy is preparation, placing a focus ... Read more »
Organizing Education Records
Organizing educational records is an ongoing process that directly impacts on planning, ensuring an "appropriate" education, working with others, and your emotional wellbeing. This article is the fir ... Read more »
Discipline in special education and the manifestation determination.
When disabilities and behaviors are intertwined the disciplinary result can distract from the real educational needs. Distinguishing between the manifestation of a disability and general misbehavior can be difficult. Once a child is characterized as having a behavioral problem the disability seems to have a way of disappearing in the eyes of those working with the child. The law provides an extra layer of protection, called a manifestation determination, to children with disabilities to help ensure that the school is responding to behavioral problems and not the disability itself. If it is determined that the behaviors are a manifestation ... Read more »
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