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Special Education Law and Your Long Island Child

There are many laws regarding special education. Parents need help understanding these laws and how the laws affect their children. Here are some resources.

There are many laws regarding education, disabilities, and civil rights.  When you combine these three areas, you get very complicated laws. It gets confusing.

You have to learn what your child needs and how to get it to him or her.

Sometimes, the experts really are looking out for your child’s best interests. Sometimes, you have to have lots and lots of meetings until your child gets the accommodations necessary to get an appropriate education.

Sometimes, when all else fails, you have to hire a special education lawyer.   Later in this post I list some special education resources, such as organizations that help families navigate the meetings, the letters, the phone calls, and the results.

New York State education law regarding CSE (Committee for Special Education) meetings has been changed recently.

If you want a parent member as an impartial witness and advisor at your CSE meeting, you must request it in writing at least 72 hours before the meeting.  I strongly recommend that you request a parent member.  I have found that having an objective person available helps put issues into the proper perspective on both sides of the table.  Prior to this ruling, school districts were required to provide a parent member unless “affirmatively declined” by the parent. Here is the web page with the actual wording: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/formsnotices/meetingnotice/CSEmeetform.htm

Here are some web sites to assist you in acquiring a “Free and Appropriate Education” for your child:

Parent 2 Parent Long Island provides excellent advice: http://parenttoparentnys.org/offices/Long-Island/

Long Island Parent Center (at Long Island University): http://liparentcenterliu.org

Long Island Advocacy Center: http://www.theliac.org/Ask_the_Advocate.php

Long Island Center for Independent Living: http://licil.net/wordpress/?page_id=171

SEPTA (Special Education Parent Teacher Association). This link lists most Long Island SEPTAs:  http://eastislipsepta.org/Septa%20Websites.htm

National PTA: http://www.pta.org/special_needs.asp

New York State Department of Education: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/quality/parents.htm

Wrightslaw is comprehensive and excellent: http://www.wrightslaw.com/topics.htm

I appreciate your comments and questions.  If you wish to remain anonymous, you may email me at basuentsyn@gmail.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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