Fax: (214) 937-3770
Catherine M. Michael, J.D.
Special Education Law
Hollingsworth & Zivitz, PC
Under both federal and state law, children with special needs are to be identified, evaluated and provided a Free Appropriate Public Education, otherwise known as FAPE. "Special education" is defined as specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, intended to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. Special education includes instruction conducted in the classroom, the home, hospitals and institutions, and other settings, as well as physical education instruction. 34 CFR 300.39.
It is important to know that special education encompasses much more than simply your child’s academic subjects. It includes your child’s social, health, emotional, physical, and vocational needs. Related services can include counseling, social work services, parent training and many other options. Placements can range from your child’s school to a private day placement, a therapeutic day placement, a residential placement, or even a homebound placement depending on your child’s unique needs.
Your child’s education is a partnership between you and the school. It is supposed to be a collaborative effort. When it becomes confrontational, confusing, or you believe that your child’s needs are not met I can review, assess, and evaluate your next steps and options. Public schools are required, by law, to devise an individualized education program for a child, based on your child's individual and unique needs, not on a school budget or staffing issue. The program in place for your child must be reasonably calculated to confer meaningful educational benefits.
Clients turn to me for help when they have questions about:
Due Process Hearings
Section 504 Hearings
Failure of School Personnel to implement the IEP
Staff training issues
Restraint and Seclusion
Extended School Years Services
Home Bound Programs