All parents want to help their children succeed in school and ultimately in life. From the time a child enters school, he or she begins on an academic path that can either positively or negatively impact a child's future.
Parents, teachers and schools all play vital roles in helping ensure for a child's success in school. For parents of a child with special needs, the desire to protect and advocate for a child tends to not only be stronger, but also more necessary.
The rights of children who are diagnosed with physical or mental impairments are protected under federal and state laws. Specifically the American With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), address the rights of individuals with disabilities with regard to education and employment.
Parents would be wise to become familiar with these laws and understand how they serve to benefit a school-age child. For example, legally a school may be required to provide a child who has been diagnosed with a learning disability with certain accommodations like shorter homework assignments or extra time for taking tests.
Additionally, for parents who have a child who has an Individualized Education Program, it's important to partner with and ask questions of members of his or her IEP team. In cases where a parent has concerns about whether or not a IEP is meeting a child's needs, it's important to voice and address those concerns promptly.
There may be times when a parent believes that a school isn't meeting its obligations with regard to providing a child with a disability the "free appropriate public education" to which he or she is entitled. If this occurs, parents can turn to a legal professional who is well-versed in special education laws and who can provide strong legal advocacy to help ensure for a child’s academic success.
Source: Understood.org, July 10, 2015