Skilled Representation for Special Needs Students Throughout Tennessee
Helping parents help children who are enrolled in school in Nashville
People learn in their own different ways and according to their own strengths. When a child struggles with a more traditional way of learning, the state of Tennessee requires that certain measures be taken to ensure that the child gets the help and resources he or she needs to succeed in school. When those resources are denied, you do have options that can help you protect your child.
At the Nashville-based Law Office of Perry A. Craft, PLLC, we have more than 40 years of experience helping people in need. Attorney Craft has the experience and the skills you want on your side when your child has been denied his or her right to an education in Tennessee. Let us help you help your child.
A brief overview of special education law
There is no one definition of “special needs” in Tennessee; in fact, the state recognizes at least 16 different areas of “special needs,” and each of them has its own guidelines for eligibility and evaluation. Because of this, parents must be advocates for their children, and teachers must be advocates for their students, when extra resources are needed. Every child in Tennessee has the right to an education, and it is up to us to ensure that your child gets what he or she is entitled to have.
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, students with special needs must be identified by a “team of qualified professionals” (which almost always includes the teacher) and the parent of the child, and then must be tested to determine what resources should be allocated to furthering the child’s education. This is often the most difficult step in the process – for parents, teachers, and students – because of the varying degrees of “special needs” covered under Tennessee’s laws. Furthermore, it can sometimes be difficult for parents to accept that their children may need additional help and may be wary of the “label” their child might incur. On the other hand, some teachers and administrators may misread or misattribute a child’s struggle to outside forces, i.e., the child acts out because he/she lacks discipline, and not because of a learning disability.
Once your child has been identified as special needs, however, Tennessee and federal law mandate that an Individualized Education Program (IEP) be put in place for your child. The IEP outlines what your child’s particular needs are and how they must be addressed for your child to learn. If the IEP is not followed by the teacher, or if the school cannot or will not supply the resources a teacher needs to help that student, then steps can be taken legally.
Why you need a special education lawyer
These are complex and challenging areas of the law, even if they seem clear to you as a parent. It is crucial that you obtain the services of a Nashville education law attorney to help protect your rights and the student’s rights. Attorney Craft advocates on behalf of special needs students throughout Tennessee. He can help you with:
- IEP appearances
- 504 Plan meetings
- Understanding your child’s educational records
- Presenting medical histories which indicate disabilities
- Evaluating your child’s current program
- Private placement
- Disciplinary hearings
- Appealing decisions made by the Board of Education
You do not have this battle alone. Nashville education law attorney Perry A. Craft can help you and your child get the help he or she needs to succeed.
Helping special needs students throughout Tennessee
Obtaining services for a special needs student is not always easy. Whether you are a parent who knows what your child needs to succeed or a teacher doing your best to fulfill an IEP despite a lack of resources, the Law Office of Perry A. Craft, PLLC can help. We advocate on behalf of special needs students in and around Nashville, and we want to hear your story. Please call 615-953-3808 or fill out our contact form to reserve a consultation time.