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Santa Cruz Special Education Law for Parents Blog

For parents wondering about their child’s special education rights

Do you ever wonder as a California parent if your child is being shortchanged by curtailed educational prospects? Do you perhaps think that learning opportunities routinely afforded others are not as readily available to your son or daughter owing to a disability or singular challenge?

Rest assured, no law sanctions such an outcome for California students participating in special education programs. In fact, bedrock protections have long existed to safeguard every child’s legal entitlements. We expressly note in a recent blog post at the proven education law firm of Steven A. Greenburg in Santa Cruz a key point that should make parents of children with special needs feel empowered.

Would you want a camera in your child's classroom?

Every parent wants to know that their child is safe at school. They want to feel like there are teachers, administrators and other staff members looking out for their children and working to ensure the environment is free from dangerous conditions and people.

Sadly, there are children who get hurt at school; they suffer physical or emotional injuries at the hands of other students, teachers and others. When these troubling incidents occur, parents often wonder if something could have been done to keep their child safe. One increasingly common suggestion is to place cameras inside classrooms.

How special education enrollment is changing in California

Assistance for special education students has never been more prevalent in the California education system. And awareness for the needs of these students has never been greater. That said, there is still a long way to go in terms of getting critical services and academic resources to the students that deserve them.

Unfortunately, it may not be getting any easier. According to a recent report, enrollment for special education students has surged over the last 10 years in California. Enrollment for students with autism alone have spiked 18 percent in the last two years. Though there is still some debate over why this is happening, it could have a dramatic effect on students.

Making the second half of the school year better for your child

Students across California are returning to school after the winter break, whether they feel ready or not. Unfortunately, some students may be dreading this return, particularly if they had a difficult first half of the year.

If your child is among those who struggled, then there are ways you can help them improve their experience in the second half of the year.

Is your child's school delivering what it promises?

No matter where your child goes to school, you should expect that he or she will receive an education. And when the school specifically advertises certain educational approaches or services, you should expect your child to receive those as well.

Unfortunately, too many parents learn a difficult lesson when they discover a school has misled parents about its offerings. In some cases, these failures can and do lead to legal action. 

The importance of understanding a child's specific disability

No two students are exactly the same; every child learns a little bit differently. The same goes for children with learning disabilities -- or any disability, for that matter. Figuring out a child's specific needs can help teachers and school faculty tailor the educational experience accordingly.

For example, if your child has attention deficient and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), he or she may require help in the classroom. However, this doesn't mean he or she needs the exact same help or accommodations as another child with ADHD. This is especially true if your child is also a perfectionist.

Court orders L.A. county jails provide special education services

Young people make mistakes; they break the law and take risks. And teens who also suffer from conditions like learning disorders can have an especially difficult time when it comes to making good, safe decisions. Sadly, it is not uncommon for young people in California jails to have various types of learning disabilities and special educational needs.

Unfortunately, many jails and juvenile detention centers in the United States only offer a general education curriculum. This can be extremely difficult for special education students who go to jail.

Parents sue school over mistreatment of special education student

Last month, parents of a special needs student filed a lawsuit against their daughter’s high school for mistreatment by the special education teacher.

Their daughter attended special education classes during the 2015-2016 school year, where she was cared for primarily by the special education teacher. In the lawsuit, the parents argue that the teacher mistreated their daughter over the course of the year and later, after the teacher returned from a leave of absence.

Could your child's pediatrician help him or her in school?

A child with learning disabilities or special needs benefits greatly from added services and assistance in the classroom. And when these resources are tailored to a child's needs as closely as possible, there can be a greater opportunity for academic success.

As such, it is crucial to collaborate with the people who may be best suited to help a child and school work together when it comes to developing an Individualized Education Program or a 504 plan. Typically, this includes counselors, teachers, parents and school administrators. However, you might also consider asking your child's pediatrician to weigh in.

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