"Without Tom's guidance and assistance, my son would probably not be in public school right now. After being on a 504 plan for years, Tom fought for special education eligibility and won at due process. Tom also helped my son from being expelled from the school district. Tom's patience, hard work, and compassion for kids that are struggling really showed through. I would recommend him strongly to any parent that wants to get their child back on track." ~ Parent

When do you need an attorney or advocate?

We are committed to maintaining and restoring a positive working relationship with the school district. However, we also recognize that sometimes stronger advocacy may be needed because the school district has failed to offer an appropriate education. If any of the following situations sounds familiar, you may need an advocate or attorney:

  • School fails to properly assess your child, or tells you that they cannot assess until a SST meeting is held

  • School refuses to find your child eligible for special education services

  • School informs you that unless you consent to the entire IEP, they will not implement any part of the IEP

  • School continues to repeat old IEP goals, services, and placement

  • School informs you that they can't afford (due to budget cuts) the appropriate services/placement you are requesting

  • Your child has not been receiving the services called for in his/her IEP or 504 Plan

  • Your child is falling further behind in reading, writing or math skills

  • School does not let you participate in your child's IEP meeting. For example, you request something for your child during the IEP meeting and the school refuses to discuss it, or the school comes to the meeting with the completed IEP in hand and their minds are already made up before the meeting starts

  • You are seeking reimbursement for the appropriate placement/services you had to provide at your own expense

  • In the name of mainstreaming or least restrictive environment, the school's only option for your child's placement is the regular education classroom even if this option is not appropriate

  • School moves your child to a special day class without first attempting appropriate services and accommodations (such as an aide, behavior plan, etc.) in the regular education classroom

  • Your child used to get special education services one on one, or in a separate classroom. Now the school's only option is for your child to receive the special services in a group or in the regular education classroom

  • The school changes your child's program without your consent and/or without holding an IEP meeting to do so

  • School continually suspends your child, and/or repeatedly calls you at home/work to pick your child up from school

  • Your child is facing a manifestation determination hearing or expulsion proceeding, or has already been suspended or expelled from school

If you answer "yes" to any of the following questions, you should consider obtaining legal assistance. If you would like more information, please contact Thomas S. Nelson for a free consultation.