Parents of children with special needs often learn to advocate for their children's best interests in a variety of contexts. However, each parent must learn advocacy skills over time. No parent learns of his or her child's special needs and immediately understands how to successfully advocate on that child's behalf under all circumstances.
Thankfully, professionals with certain backgrounds and skill sets can aid parents in ensuring that their children's special needs are properly addressed and that their children's rights are respected. For example, when special needs children are not receiving the kinds of attention, placement and accommodations guaranteed by special education law, an attorney experienced in this legal area can help parents advocate for their children's needs in an educational context.
Parents may or may not be initially inclined to engage in this advocacy work alone. But in either case, consulting an attorney experienced in education law can be beneficial. Chances are that parents who are not attorneys themselves are not trained to navigate the ins and outs of the legal system, nor are they completely familiar with all applicable federal and state laws pertaining to their children's situations.
In addition, a trained attorney may understand various options available to you that you may not otherwise be aware of. Parents of special needs kids are often brilliant advocates. However, everyone needs a little help from professionals from time to time. If your child is not getting the educational opportunities he or she is entitled to, do not be afraid to reach out to an experienced attorney for assistance in advocating for your child's needs.
Source: Findlaw Law & Daily Life, "5 Things an Education Lawyer Can Do (That You Probably Can't)," Daniel Taylor, Aug. 14, 2014