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Steven A. Greenburg, Education Law
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Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4567

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A parent's rights regarding their disabled child's education

When most people think of the education system, they see a system that strives for excellence through standardized lesson plans that seem to have a one-size-fits-all regimen. While this might work for a majority of students, these types of lesson plans aren't always the best fit for students with disabilities. Lesson plans that don't tailor to their specific needs can cause the child's education to suffer, which can greatly handicap them down the road.

It's because of this very reason that federal law requires all schools -- whether they be private, public or charter schools -- to provide special education services to children with disabilities. These services should be tailored to the student's specific needs to help them receive a proper education. But did you know that parents have the right to make sure that this happens?

Here in California, as is the case in all states across the nation, parents are afforded certain rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. By asserting many of these rights, parents across the state, and the nation for that matter, can make sure that their child is getting the best education possible. In today's post, we will highlight a few of the more important ones.

For starters, did you know that parents in California have "the right to refer their child for special education services?" Did you also know that they are afforded a say in their child's individual education plan, or IEP, as well?

Parents also have rights concerning the assessment of their child for special education. They can both consent and refuse consent for assessments. On top of this, if parents don't agree with the results, they may ask for an independent evaluation.

If you're a frequent visitor to our blog, then you know that disputes can arise concerning a child's education. The parents may question the effectiveness of the child's IEP or disagree with a decision to drop their child from the special education program. When disputes arise, it's important for parents to remember that they do have the right to argue on behalf of their child. They may even do so with the help of a knowledgeable education law attorney, which is considered a good idea because of the complexity of the law.

Source: California Department of Education, "Parent's Rights," Accessed March 19, 2015

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