IEP Questions

Los Angeles Special Education Attorney

What is an IEP?

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is an educational program and detailed plan that is custom tailored to your child’s needs. IEP’s are used to help children with disabilities or special needs to receive Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

An IEP is very different to the one-size-fits-all special education scenario you may be familiar with from your own childhood, where all children with disabilities not matter how mild or severe were thrown into one special class. By law, the IEP must be as unrestrictive as possible and children on an IEP often attend school in a regular classroom but receive specials services designed to meet their specific needs.

Of course, children who need a more intense program may still spend their day in special, smaller classes where they can receive more individual attention and taught by specially trained teachers who can address their personal needs.

What disabilities or conditions qualify a child for special education?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) defines the following 13 categories of disability which may qualify a child for special education:

  • Autism
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Deafness
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Hearing impairment
  • Mental retardation
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Other health impairment
  • Specific learning disability
  • Speech or language impairment
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visual impairment

Why do I need a special education attorney?

If everything goes well with your child’s IEP process, and you have the time and confidence to handle everything on your own, you may not need an attorney. However, if problems arise, a special education attorney can protect your child’s legal right to FAPE.

Many parents choose to consult with an attorney in the very beginning, to ensure that their children get all the help they need and as quickly as possible, especially when facing a complicated case or if the child will need multiple services. Also, if you have limited free time to work on the case yourself, a special education attorney can take the load off of you.

Often, parents begin the IEP process without the help of an attorney, but choose to hire one when problems arise along the way. If you need to file a complete, request a due process hearing, or if something changes in your child’s status, it may be time to talk to a special education attorney.

You should also talk to a special education attorney if you find out that the school district’s attorney is going to be involved in your child’s case, if you are asked to sign away or waive any of your legal rights, or if your child is facing expulsion or suspension.

To learn more about special education law and how to help your child, or to schedule a consultation, please contact the Law Office of Fred. J. Fleming online today.

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Any description of previous success is not intended to and does not imply success regarding your potential lawsuit or hearing.