Special Needs Law and Advocacy

GrayRobinson recognizes the numerous and diverse issues confronting children with special needs, their families, guardians and caregivers. These can include:

  • Obtaining appropriate evaluations and arriving at a diagnosis;
  • Identifying medical and therapeutic partners and obtaining services;
  • Navigating the educational system (both with respect to public and private schools, preschool, elementary school and beyond), including obtaining an initial IEP, and ensuring that it is appropriately revised as necessary, and that services are actually received;
  • Dealing with the discriminatory treatment of persons with special needs;
  • Dealing with school disciplinary actions, and in some cases, criminal charges;
  • Identifying age and ability-appropriate training and apprenticeship programs;
  • Financial planning;
  • Locating housing options;
  • Creating Special Needs Trusts;
  • Establishing Guardian Advocacies;
  • Estate Planning; and
  • Negotiating the appropriate amount and duration of child support and drafting Parenting Plans tailored to address the special needs of the child in Family Law cases.

The list above is not exhaustive, and children with special needs face additional obstacles on a daily basis that sometimes seem insurmountable. Our team strives to aid our clients by setting well-thought out goals, developing both short and long-term plans, fighting necessary legal battles, and finessing solutions to complicated problems to ensure, to the best of our collective ability, the success of the children we serve.

Our attorneys are well versed in federal, state and local laws dealing with special education, employment, trusts and estate planning and family law. With respect to special education law in particular, which is a significant concern for parents of children with special needs, these laws include, among others, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), state Exceptional Student Education (ESE) practices and the Americans with Disabilities Act. We employ these laws to assist our clients in obtaining special education services, and aid in negotiating and advocating for effective Individual Education Plans (IEP). 

IEPs are important (and legally binding) documents that spell out a child’s learning needs and detail a customized education plan pursuant to which the school will provide services and monitor a child’s educational progress. Although an IEP is required for every child receiving special education services; obtaining an initial IEP, and ensuring that it is appropriately revised as necessary, and that services are actually received, can be a difficult and ongoing process. This is also true of many other aspects of planning for the future of a child with special needs – and attorneys are not always the solution. For this reason, we also seek to engage with community partners that can offer our clients additional targeted assistance beneficial to the development of the children we serve. These community partners may be physicians, therapists, non-profit service providers, and educators among others.

If you are in need of any of the services described above, GrayRobinson’s team stands ready to provide you (as parents, guardians and caregivers of children with special needs) with legal and advocacy services to address your needs related to education, discrimination, financial and estate planning and family law.   

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To contact your closest G|R Office call 800-338-3381

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