Being the parents of a special needs child takes love and commitment. Your child deserves the best education possible regardless of his or her disability, and the school districts in Orange County School District are required to provide it. As you work to advocate for your child and develop an individualized education program for him or her, you — and ultimately your child — may benefit from enlisting some help to make sure your child receives every benefit he or she deserves.
Much of the process of developing an IEP relies on complying with state and federal laws. No one expects you to know these laws, and the school district may take advantage of the fact that you do not. Individual teachers, counselors and other school personnel may want to do what is best for your child and are willing to provide their support, but the school district itself may not be as invested in your child.
For this reason, it would be beneficial to gain an understanding of the legal obligations the school district has to your child. Do you know what the law considers mandatory when it comes to your child’s IEP? Did you know you have a right to participate in the formulation of your child’s IEP?
In some cases, a school district will keep parents from participating in the process either intentionally or unintentionally. You may not be told you have the right to object to certain aspects of the school district’s proposed plan for your child or how important it is that any objection makes it into the official IEP notes. You may not know that it would be best if you record any meetings you have with school officials in order to make sure that the record is accurate.
Good people work for the school districts in Orange County, but not everyone falls into that category. You need to not only protect your rights as a parent, but also protect your child’s rights. Working with an attorney who understands your plight and knows the laws pertaining to it could help give your student the best chance at a quality education possible as you advocate for your child.