First of all, this bit of clarification is required and immediately noted here: It’s a right, not a privilege.
And those claiming it should feel empowered about doing so, not shamed or left feeling as though they are supplicants asking for favors.
The subject matter of today’s blog post is a disabled child’s right to receive a meaningful education under federal law and pursuant to additional enactments that exist in California and every other state.
There is no question about that: We note on our website at the proven pro-child special education law firm of Steven A. Greenburg in Santa Cruz that schools are “prohibited from discriminating against children with learning disabilities or denying children an access to education.”
That doesn’t mean placement in a chair at the back of the room and subsequent ignoring of a child with special learning needs. Nor does it mean default separation from the general student population in some literally walled-out portion of a school that is deemed appropriate for “problem” students.
A guest columnist in a recent opinion piece gets special-ed requirements precisely right. Kelly Wassenberg is the mother of a child with specialized learning needs. She flatly notes that, “Every child is entitled to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment possible.”
There is no wiggle room in that. And as Wassenberg duly notes, what is appropriate can vary widely from case to case. Special-ed kids have widely varied needs (and talents), which must be identified and promoted in case-by-case tailored fashion.
That spells close and continuous parental involvement, something that Wassenberg concedes she and many other similarly placed parents are not up to speed concerning when they first enter the singular realm of special education.
Wassenberg says that special ed was “a world I once resented until I learned something – I had much more power than I ever realized.”
That observation is both perceptive and accurate: Parents negotiating the special ed universe are unquestionably empowered during the process, especially with aid enlisted from a proven legal advocate.
We welcome contacts to our firm from California parents having questions or concerns regarding any special-ed linked matter.