Education Law
As a parent of a child who needed special education services, I personally know the frustration I faced as a parent in trying to get my child the services she needed. I knew that she was a bright child who was having a difficult time through no fault of her own, and with the right help she would be able to succeed. I am happy to say that with the help we fought for, and was able to receive, she is now an engineering student in college and doing very well. It was through that experience that I decided to specialize in special education law, and help others going through the same difficult time we went through.

We are highly sensitive to the often emotional and complicated nature of education issues, and take great pride in the care and attention we give to the needs of parents and students. We strive not only to achieve the best possible results, but we make every effort to make the process as painless as possible under the trying conditions that can the various problems that arise.
Young Girl in Classroom, Education Law

You should know that help is available. The law is on your side. Its promise is simple: Every child counts. Every child is entitled to an education. Every eligible child with a disability is entitled to a "special" education, one that confers "meaningful benefits." That is what Congress has said. That is what the United States Supreme Court has said.

The law protects every child. The law protects you as your child's parent.

What are the different options?
Individualized Education Plan (IEP) — Every special-education student must have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) developed by a team that includes parents, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals. An IEP establishes educational goals and describes the special services that will be provided to the student. The law firm helps parents assert their child's right to an IEP that truly serves the child's needs.

Section 504 plan under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 — Section 504 prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by requiring schools to provide reasonable accommodations that will allow a Student with a disability to access the regular programs and services that are available to Students without disabilities. On the other hand, a Student who qualifies for special education under IDEA gets much more than accommodations.

There are five modes of communication that can interfere with the learning process; they are auditory, visual, verbal, nonverbal and tactical communication.

If your child has a problem processing information due to a problem with one of the modes of communication that is affecting their education, they may be eligible to receive services under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973. The IDEA requires public schools to locate and identify children with disabilities who may need specialized education. These children must "have available" to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs" 20 U.S.C. sec. 140(d). Children with disabilities must "to the maximum extent appropriate [be] educated with children who are not disabled" 20 U.S. C. 1412 (e)(5).

Many parents find themselves in a situation where their child is either struggling academically or having discipline problems in school. Often times, there may be an unidentified issue causing these problems. If they do have an issue that is negatively affecting their education, they would likely benefit from special education services.

Special Education services may include:

• Occupational therapy
• Speech and language therapy
• Resource specialist programs
• Modification of the regular education programs
• Special day classes
• Non-public schools
• Residential treatment, and many more

If you believe that your child is having a problem in school and is in need of special services,
or if the services he/she is getting are not adequately protecting your child, contact Paul A. Epstein.