Can a parent bring an attorney to an IEP meeting in New York?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2022 | Education Law |

Every parent wants the best education possible for their child. When a family has a child with special needs, that often means the child qualifies for special education. In these cases, the child has an IEP (Individualized Education Program) that the school needs to follow. An IEP requires meetings with the child’s parents, teachers, school administrators, therapists, special education team and if a parent wants, their attorney.

There are times when a parent may disagree with their child’s IEP. They may have problems getting the recommended services implemented or provided appropriately. A special education attorney can help resolve disputes and make sure the child receives the education services they are entitled to.

There are many legal requirements to an IEP. These include specific information about the child, such as:

  • School performance
  • Testing expectations
  • Placing
  • Academic, social and behavior goals
  • Modifications the child needs

The IEP must be updated annually to review the child’s progress and make any revisions.

An attorney can be a useful partner for a family with a child in special education. A special education attorney can:

  • Evaluate the student’s files and past IEPs
  • Check for legal compliance issues
  • Gather relevant materials for IEP meetings
  • Draft an initial IEP with the parent’s goals
  • Review an IEP with the family before they sign it.

If disputes arise with the IEP, an attorney can help a family with:

  • Representing the student and parents at mediation sessions
  • Represent their client in due process hearings

Families who have a child with special needs should know they have many legal rights. An attorney can help these families make sure their child is receiving the best education possible.