If you are just starting out on the rocky road of sending your child with a disability through the educational system, then you may be feeling a little overwhelmed with the whole process of creating an IEP, communicating your child’s needs to their teacher, and struggling with school administration. Luckily, you don’t have to do it all alone. An educational advocate can be one of your biggest aids as you navigate the educational process.
Applicable Laws for Children with Disabilities
Educational advocates have an intimate grasp of the laws that affect your child and your family. They keep up with the most recent changes in regulations as well as have a firm grasp of the services that your school offers. They can provide you guidance based on this knowledge. These are the two main laws that affect your child in the educational setting:
- Section 504: This is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination in schools as well as in other institutions that receive federal funds for individuals with disabilities. If your child meets the specific qualifications to receive federal aid under Section 504, then they will be entitled to either accommodations or modifications in the classroom.
- IDEA: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act prohibits discrimination against children with disabilities. It is important to note that this law does not specifically list ADHD as a disability, but it is possible that a child with ADHD may qualify under “other health impaired”. Your educational advocate will be able to help you navigate this law.
How Your Educational Advocate Helps You
So, besides helping you to navigate the complicated framework of laws and school regulations, what else can your educational advocate do for you? Your educational advocate can attend school meetings with you to provide support and represent your child. They can also attain and review school records and identify any problems that may be interfering with the needs of your child. They can help you develop strategies and goals for both school and the home. In short, educational advocates are there to support you and fight to get the best support possible for your child!
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (202) 561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or (301) 577-4333 (Lanham office). Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest.