Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a special education advocate?
Indications that a special education advocate might be helpful are:
- Your child is having academic, behavioral or social difficulties in school
- You have concerns that your child’s needs are not being met
- You have been told that your child is not eligible for special education services
- Your child is being denied her rights to an appropriate education under State and Federal laws
- You sense that your child is falling further behind in school
Can I afford a special education advocate?
We charge a standard fee that is affordable for our services. In specific situations, a payment plan can be arranged. We do not charge for quick phone calls less than 15 minutes or travel time for locations within 20 miles of Burlington Massachusetts.
What will a special education advocate do for me?
Working with you, we will:
- Conduct a comprehensive review of your child’s records and evaluations. Supplement this review with classroom observations on existing or future placements.
- Help you develop strategies for obtaining the most appropriate services for your child.
- Work with you and the school to develop a plan that addresses your child’s needs.
- Create best approach to obtaining an IEP with measurable goals for your child.
- Help you understand what your child’s educational rights are.
At what stage of the special education process, can a special education advocate be helpful?
Advocates can assist at any stage in the special education process:
- From initial evaluations and eligibility determinations
- Through Team meetings, IEP development and program placements
- Until transition services, graduation and moving to adult services.
What does the law say about educational services that my child is entitled to?
In the big picture, your child is entitled to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment under State and Federal laws.
In a Team Meeting, what will a special education advocate do?
In a Team Meeting, we will:
- Reference state and federal education laws
- Ensure that educational and psychological testing results are addressed
- Advocate for the concerns for you and your child
- Provide suggestions for resolving issues and concerns
- Offer input on IEP’s, 504’s, behavior and transition plans
- Negotiate for educational services
What is an Individualized Education Plan?
The Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is a plan or program developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives specialized instruction and related services.
What is a 504 Plan?
The 504 Plan is a plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment.
What is the difference between an Individualized Education Plan and a 504 Plan?
- For students with disabilities who do require specialized instruction, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) controls the procedural requirements, and an IEP is developed.
- The IDEA process is more involved than that of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and requires progress towards reaching measurable goals
- A 504 Plan ensures that students will receive equal access to public education and services, but do not require specialized instruction. A 504 Plan is updated annually to ensure that the student is receiving the most effective accommodations for his/her specific circumstances.
What type of disabilities does JDAdvocacy have experience dealing with?
- Aspergers/PDD/Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Dyslexia/Language Based learning Disorders
- Non Verbal Learning Disability (NLD)
- Oppositional Defiance Disorder
- Central Auditory Processing Disorder
- Sensory Integration Dysfunction
- Childhood Apraxia
- Learning Disability (Math or Writing Disorder)
What if my child is involved in a bullying incident?
If your child is facing suspension or expulsion from public school, we will advocate for your child to see that he or she is treated fairly. Your child is entitled to an administrative hearing to determine the appropriateness of that discipline. We have successfully represented parents and students at these hearings. Your child is entitled to a public education. The school must demonstrate significant cause to deny your child an education.