Ensuring an appropriate educational placement is provided for a child with intellectual disabilities can be extremely challenging for parents and educators. Because individuals with intellectual disabilities have a wide range of abilities and challenges, their needs are frequently not met by educators, even those with Special Education experience. School districts often offer a one-size-fits-all approach, whether that’s an inclusion placement, special education class or a community-based program. If your child’s unique needs are not being addressed, then he or she is not receiving what the law requires.
The special education attorneys of KSLN work extensively with parents and educators to help students with all types of disabilities, including intellectual disability. We understand the unique challenges of raising and educating a child with intellectual disabilities because of our work in this area of law, providing a broad range of legal services to parents and caregivers.
Serving Parents of Children with Intellectual Disabilities
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires all schools to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to every student with a disability. Most schools try their best to meet their regulatory obligations and work diligently in the best interests of their students. However, for students with an intellectual disability, determining the best educational strategy can be especially challenging. Teachers and administrators must work closely with parents to learn about and provide for each student’s unique abilities and challenges.
At KSLN, our Special Education attorneys will work with and support you as you work with your child’s educators to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that achieves the fine balance of dealing with your child’s impairment while challenging your child enough to achieve his or her potential. No one understands your child better than you, and our special education lawyers can help you communicate and advocate effectively to ensure your child’s needs are met. We will assist you in every way you need, attending IEP meetings, and hearings when necessary, to represent the best interest of your child.
Looking at the Big Picture for Children with Intellectual Disabilities
To determine what is appropriate for a given child with intellectual disabilities, it is often helpful to take a long-term look down the road. Since each child is unique, the child’s strengths, weaknesses, goals and interests should be considered. Further, one must ask: what is the child’s realistic potential: a post-secondary experience, competitive employment, supported employment, independent living or supported living in the community, etc.? Knowing the life goal(s) for a child helps to focus what is an appropriate IEP, since annual IEPs can be viewed as the building blocks to life after school.
To learn more about KSLN, and how we can help you, please contact us today for a free initial consultation.