Laredo Special Education Attorney
An Advocate and Defender With Experience In and Out of Court
Many children across the U.S. require special education courses, but not all school systems and programs are equipped to meet the needs of these children.
As a member of the community, Attorney Rodolfo Santos, Jr. founded the Law Offices of Rudy Santos, L.L.C. to better serve those in need. Our firm provides counsel for a variety of legal matters, and our goal is to advocate for our clients every step of the way.
Call our Laredo special education lawyer at (956) 476-3337.
Special Education in Texas
Children with disabilities are three times more likely to be abused or exploited, and they need advocates in the public sphere to help protect them. Disability Rights Texas is an organization that provides education and protection for people with disabilities in addition to evaluating the education system to ensure that it’s in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA.
IDEA is legislation that sets requirements that each state must meet in order to receive special education funding. Some state laws may exceed these minimum requirements, but no state law can take away the right given to children and their families under federal law.
IDEA has four main sections:
- General Provisions, Definitions, and Other Issues
- Assistance for Education of All Children with Disabilities
- Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities
- National Activities to Improve Education of Children with Disabilities
Disability Rights Texas works in tandem with IDEA to help parents, teachers, and advocates work in equal partnership to protect the educational rights of children with special needs.
Qualifications for Special Education Under IDEA
The Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee is responsible for the special education evaluation process and determines whether a student is eligible to receive special education services under IDEA.
Disability categories include the following:
- Orthopedic impairment
- Other health impairment (ADD, AD/HD, and Tourette syndrome)
- Auditory impairment
- Visual impairment
- Intellectual disability
- Emotional disturbance
- Learning disability
- Speech impairment
- Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Multiple disabilities
- Traumatic brain injury
Non-categorical disability is a designation exclusive to Texas. This includes students ages three to five who may have an intellectual disability, emotional disturbance, learning disability, or autism. This designation aims to ensure that children receive the education and care they need from a young age.
Another critical element of Special Education Law is parents’ rights. As the parent of a child with a disability, you have the right to know what services are available to you and your child for education and protection.
Parents’ rights under IDEA are as follows:
- Be given notice before the school evaluates or refuses to evaluate your child
- Be given information about the abilities, skills, and knowledge to be evaluated
- Give, or not give, your consent before the evaluation of your child
- Be given a description and explanation for the procedures, tests, records, and reports used during the evaluation
- Review and understand all documents prior to the ARD committee hearing
- Have the results of all assessments read before the ARD committee, including independent evaluations from professionals outside of the school system
- Assurance that test materials will be in a language most likely to yield accurate information on what your child can do academically, developmentally, and functionally
- Be informed that no single procedure (like an IQ test) will be a sole determining factor for your child’s eligibility
- Have the opportunity to present a written complaint to the Texas Education Agency if you feel that a federal or state rule is not followed
- Have the opportunity to request mediation or a hearing if unable to reach an agreement on evaluation procedures
- Be given a copy of the evaluation report
These rights are critical in the special education process and allow parents to be active participants in their child’s educational future. However, not all evaluations follow state and federal guidelines. While IDEA, ARD committees, and Disability Rights Texas work to prevent discrimination and exploitation, some cases fall through the cracks.
If you are a parent, guardian, or loved one of a child with disabilities and you believe your rights have been violated, or your child is a victim of discrimination, do not hesitate to contact an attorney.
Your ARD Advocate and Attorney
Parents of children with disabilities want to provide the best possible future for their children and view education as a vital component of that goal. The Law Offices of Rudy Santos, L.L.C. understands how difficult it can be to navigate the special education evaluation process. That’s why we provide compassionate legal guidance and a personalized, hands-on approach to help you understand your options.
Don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Rudy Santos, L.L.C. for legal counsel from a trusted Laredo autism attorney.