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ADDITIONAL SUPPORT TO GET THE EXRA HELP FOR YOUR CHILD IN SCHOOL
by Alan M. Solomon, Ph.D.
Although the helping process outlined in this month’s article is doable if parents are organized and persistent, it also complex, detailed, bureaucratic, and legalistic. If the school district and its personnel are resistant (and some are quite resistant, to be fully honest about it), it becomes that much more daunting, even for well-educated and informed parents. Additional help is available in two forms:
An independent outside evaluation. Some psychologists are well-trained and experienced in psychological testing and assessment to evaluate a child’s learning needs. A full evaluation done by this professional can provide more comprehensive understanding for the parents of their child’s strengths and weaknesses and the educational programming needed. This report must be considered at an IEP or 504 meeting. The psychologist can accompany the parents to such a meeting if that would be of help to contribute to the discussion, from a perspective that is not invested in saving costs or limiting outlays by the school district for a child. Please see previous articles by Dr. Solomon on Psychological Assessment, ADHD, and Learning Disabilities, listed under his profile on the website.
An attorney can be engaged as an educational advocate to also accompany the parents to meetings and represent the child’s best interests. An attorney can be brought in at any point in the process, such as before the meeting with school personnel to discuss the evaluation, consider eligibility, and plan programming, for example. If the first meeting does not result in a reasonable, satisfactory outcome, the parents have a right to appeal – also guaranteed by the law. There can actually be more than one appeal, each one tending to become more contentious and legalistic probably, so that an attorney’s skills can be very helpful as the parent pursue help for their child.
Dr. Solomon provides psychological assessments and evaluations as part of his practice. He has more than 30 years of experience with this service for children and their families.
Craig Liu, JD (pronounced “loo”) is an attorney specializing in advocacy for children regarding learning issues in school districts. Much experienced, as a former teacher as well a lawyer, Mr. Liu can be reached in Southern California at 949 941-4114.
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