Services

Education Record Review

At our initial meeting, we will review your child’s current situation, determine the main issues, and create a plan to move forward. After engaging my firm, as your special education attorney, I will review your child’s education records in detail, including but not limited to, the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan, progress reports, evaluations and other school records. The record review will help determine:

  • Are the IEP goals appropriate?
  • Does your child have reasonable and appropriate related services?
  • Are the accommodations and modifications adequate?
  • Has the school district conducted the appropriate evaluations?
  • Is your child making meaningful educational progress?
  • Is your child in an appropriate educational placement?

CPSE/CSE Meetings

Preparation

Let me be your special education attorney, advocate, and advisor. I can help prepare you for your child’s CPSE/CSE meetings or any interaction with your school district. I want you to be fully prepared so that you can advocate for your child and truly be a part of the CPSE/CSE team. We can develop an agenda together so that you can present all of your concerns to the school district. If you disagree with any decision made by the school district, you have rights. You are entitled to call additional meetings to try to resolve the issues, and if that does not work you can file for an impartial hearing. As your special education attorney, I will make sure you know everything you will need to succeed.

Representation

I can attend CPSE/CSE meetings with you. Having a knowledgeable special education attorney with you can be beneficial if you feel that your school district is not listening to you, or when your school district disagrees with your position. When attorneys are involved, meetings are often more professional and productive. If necessary, I can also negotiate with your school district at any point during the year.

 

Due Process Hearing

My goal is to get results as quickly as possible, because it is critical for your child to be placed in an appropriate program with the proper supports. I will personally handle any hearings, meditations, or appeals pertinent to your case.

First, I will attempt to resolve any issues with your school district, since hearings are time consuming and costly. If resolution is not possible, my firm will file for a due process hearing. A impartial hearing is necessary when a child is denied a free appropriate public education (FAPE). You have the right to a due process hearing when you are challenging: evaluation, classification, program and placement, and implementation of services. The most frequent impartial hearings involve program and placement issues, but I can represent you as your special education attorney in any of these matters.

Program and Placement

Your child’s placement in an appropriate program is crucial to give him or her the opportunity to make meaningful educational progress. I want to ensure that your child is in an appropriate program designed to meet his or her unique needs. If your child’s school district does not have an appropriate program, I will work with you to get him or her into an appropriate placement.

Tuition Reimbursement

When your child’s school district is not providing an appropriate education, you have the right to unilaterally place your child into a private special education school. You may then bring a due process hearing requesting that the school district reimburse you for tuition. If you are considering this option, please call my office immediately to discuss the specific procedure to follow. Having an experienced special education attorney is vital in such a scenario, because if you do not follow the appropriate procedure, the hearing officer may automatically deny reimbursement.

Manifestation Hearings

You have the right to a manifestation hearing when the school district proposes to change your child’s placement based upon his or her behavior or misconduct at school. The purpose of this hearing is to determine whether the conduct was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, your child’s disability. As your special education attorney, I will fight to protect your child at this important hearing, so that your child is not unfairly punished for behaviors that are a result of his or her disability.

Individualized Education Plans (IEP)

All of our children have different abilities and challenges, which is why they are entitled to an individualized education. We need to continuously advocate for them, year after year, to have access to the appropriate programs and related services needed for future success in their education, employment, and independent lives.

My firm is here to guide you through the special education process. I can assist you every step of the way, from the time your child is three until he or she is twenty-one. My firm can consult with you on a variety of issues, including but not limited to:

  • Reviewing the appropriateness of your child’s IEP goals, services, and supports
  • Determining whether additional or independent educational evaluations (IEEs) are necessary
  • Determining if the school district is adequately managing behavior problems
  • Understanding transitions

Appropriateness of the IEP, services and supports

I will review your child’s education records and develop a plan to ensure that your child has the proper IEP. It is important that the IEP goals address your child’s unique needs and are specific enough to enable your child to achieve meaningful educational progress. Once the goals are set, we can discuss the amount and type of related services, accommodations and modifications necessary to support your child. Creating a well-drafted IEP is the first step in helping to secure an appropriate placement for you child.

Evaluations

After meeting with you and reviewing your child’s records, I can advise on whether the evaluations conducted by the school district are appropriate. If you disagree with your school district’s evaluation, you can request that an independent education evaluation (IEE) be conducted at the district’s expense. You can also request that the school district conduct an evaluation in a specific area of educational need.

Behavior Issues

Children with special needs may exhibit problematic behaviors that are a result of or substantially related to the child’s disability. If your child has any of these behaviors, they should be addressed in his or her IEP. Your school district should also work with you to manage any behavior problems so that your child receives a free appropriate public education (FAPE). My firm will help to determine if your school district is adequately addressing problem behaviors. Some questions to consider include:

  • Has the school conducted a functional behavioral analysis (FBA)?
  • Is there a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) in place?
  • Is that BIP being implemented appropriately?
  • Has the staff been properly trained?
  • Has your child been given the social skills training he or she may need?
  • Does your child receive counseling services?

Transitions

Transitions from one stage of special education to the next raise different issues and challenges. I can help you navigate this process as your child progresses. Important transitions include:

  1. Early intervention to Preschool
  2. Preschool to Elementary School
  3. Graduation or aging out at twenty-one years old

Every child should have a meaningful and productive educational experience. I look forward to working with you to ensure that your child receives the special education and related services to which he or she is legally entitled.

Why This Firm

The Law Office of Colleen E. Parker assists parents on Long Island and in New York City with all aspects of special education. As your special education attorney, I will guide you to ensure that your child receives the appropriate education program and related services from the age of 3-21.

Types of Disabilities

My firm represents the educational interests of children with a variety of disabilities, including but not limited to:

Autism, ADD, ADHD, deafness, dyslexia, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, nonverbal learning disability, orthopedic impairment, other health impaired, physical disability, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment. 

About the Law Office of Colleen E. Parker