Legal Services Successfully Advocates for the Educational Needs of Children with Disabilities


Children are returning to school in August after a challenging 2020-2021 school year as a result of the pandemic. Education experts say the year has impacted most students, but special education students were hurt the most. Every child is entitled to a free and appropriate public education that meets his or her special educational needs. Therefore, any child who has a learning disability or a disorder such as ADHD should not fall behind or should not be treated unjustly in the school system.


Through the Legal Services Special Education Project, we provide legal representation in the following special education areas:


· Obtain an individualized education plan (IEP) for your child,

· Enforce an existing IEP for your child, and

· Ensure that your child has access to a meaningful and appropriate public education, including 504 Plans and Disciplinary Proceedings.


Recently, Legal Services Attorney Liam McGivern represented MG*, a single mother of 5 children, who came to us for assistance with her child’s IEP. Her son suffers from a specific learning disability and is currently in middle school. Although her child was supposed to be receiving special education services pursuant to his IEP, MG was concerned her child was not making adequate progress in school and was not receiving appropriate education services. The family experienced extensive periods of homelessness. During our investigation, McGivern found that with each move the family made due to their homelessness, the school adopted a different approach to educating the child, haphazardly pulling services, only to re-grant them with the next school move, with no factual or academic reasoning. McGivern filed a complaint and argued that the school’s most recent IEP, along with the history of capricious changes to the education plan, denied the child a free appropriate public education. As a result of our advocacy, the school district agreed to a settlement, and the child was awarded more than 500 hours of compensatory education to help him make up his educational deficits.


If your child is being denied an appropriate education and you need representation before the school district or help with a special education matter, please visit https://www.legalservicesmiami.org/self-help or call 305-576-0080 to apply for services.

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