Protecting the Educational Rights of a Child with Autism
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex, lifelong neurological condition and developmental disability characterized by an array of differences in social communication and interaction, heightened sensory processing and experiences, intense passions or interests, and repetitive behaviors. Each person on the autism spectrum has a unique set of skills and challenges. Some people on the spectrum are nonverbal and have co-occurring intellectual disabilities, while others may struggle with executive functioning skills and social skills – or have a mix of strengths and challenges.
It is estimated that 1 in 54 children is diagnosed with autism. Autism affects people of all races, genders, socioeconomic statuses, and cultures, though these demographic factors may affect when someone receives a formal diagnosis.
Autism is Covered Under the IDEA
Children with autism are protected under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Students on the autism spectrum are entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA if their autism impacts their access to receiving education.
Developing an IEP for Students on the Spectrum
An evaluation can determine whether a student can benefit from special education following an autism diagnosis. If they qualify, a student on the spectrum in public school can receive an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) under the IDEA.
Hiring An Experienced Autism Special Education Attorney
Students with autism can be successful with the right educational program and supports. If a student has autism or you suspect they might be on the spectrum, a special education attorney may be able to help ensure full access to learning and academic success under the legal provisions of the IDEA.
Special education attorneys are valuable advocates when working with the school district or administrators. A special education attorney can help with ensuring a student on the autism spectrum receives independent educational evaluations, creating an IEP or a 504 plan, attending team meetings, or issues surrounding a denial of accommodations or services due to autism, such as due process.
How Forte Law Group Can Help
Forte Law Group has experience helping families that have a child on the autism spectrum with special education issues, including:
- Answering your questions about your legal rights as a parent and your child’s right to receive a free appropriate public education.
- Negotiating an appropriate educational placement for your child’s special education needs within a public school district program or within a therapeutic private outplacement-based school, at public school district expense.
- Representing the educational interests for you and your child at IEP and/or 504 meetings to ensure your child is receiving an ambitiously appropriate education uniquely designed to meet all your child’s needs.
- Advocating and obtaining special accommodations and modifications for your child’s schooling, including the right to additional evaluations.
- Pursing legal action by way of mediation and/or due process if the district fails to offer your child an appropriate education.
About Forte Law Group
At Forte Law Group, we represent families that have a child with a disability. We pride ourselves with working with school teams to help arrive at positive solutions to ameliorate the problem for the benefit of your child or where necessary bringing action against the school district.
If your child is on the autism spectrum and you do not feel your child is receiving an appropriate education, contact our office today to speak with a Connecticut special education attorney today. Together, we can identify the best possible solution for your child so that your child receives the education he or she deserves.