Special Needs and Education Legal Services in New Jersey

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Special Education FAQS

Questions about legal issues related to people with disabilities and, how they may affect a person’s life, come to us often. We are pleased to provide answers to such questions. Moreover, readers are encouraged to submit additional questions by email. Furthermore, your individual circumstances may necessitate contacting our office for legal advice and/or services.

If I foresee a problem with my child’s school district or another agency providing services to my child, should I consult with an attorney before or after the problem materializes?

I was told by the administration of my child’s school district that if I do not sign an IEP the district is not obligated to provide services to my child. Is this correct?

Is it appropriate for my child’s school district’s IEP Team to come to an IEP meeting with an already written IEP?

If my child needs social skills training, is our school district responsible for providing these services?

Is my child’s school district responsible for any other than educational costs related to my child’s residential placement?

As a parent of a disabled student what should I be aware of with respect to how my child may be disciplined in a school setting?


If I foresee a problem with my child’s school district or another agency providing services to my child, should I consult with an attorney before or after the problem materializes?
If you think that the problem could impact your child’s educational program then, it is best to meet with an attorney first. It’s always best for an attorney to review and familiarize himself with the issues early, create a strategy, as well as, advise the client about the law. This would benefit a client more than having to change a position which may not have been legally advisable by his/her attorney in the first place.
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I was told by the administration of my child’s school district that if I do not sign an IEP the district is not obligated to provide services to my child. Is this correct?
This depends on whether or not, it is the first IEP. Under governing regulations parental consent is required only for the initial IEP. However, even under the foregoing circumstances, your child’s school district cannot refuse to provide services to your child for an indefinite period of time. In general, after the first IEP the school district must provide services to your child whether or not the IEP is signed. If you did not sign your child’s IEP, the school district must wait fifteen days before providing the services described in your child’s IEP. Within the abovementioned fifteen days you have a right to request mediation or a due process hearing to dispute the IEP proposed by your child’s school district. However, if the fifteen days go by and you have not requested mediation or a due process hearing, your child’s school district can begin providing services described in your child’s new IEP.
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Is it appropriate for my child’s school district’s IEP Team to come to an IEP meeting with an already written IEP?
No. It is however, appropriate for your child’s school district to come to an IEP meeting with a “draft” of a proposed IEP. All decisions regarding an educational program of a student with a disability, including what services the student needs and/or what educational setting/placement the student will attend, must be made by the IEP team in collaboration with that student’s parent and/or legal guardian. The school district’s “draft” of a proposed IEP for your child, may be permissible to facilitate discussion, but only if all of the decisions regarding the final IEP for your child are actually made by the entire IEP team which includes you, the parent.
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If my child needs social skills training, is our school district responsible for providing these services?
If your child’s disability requires for him/her to have social skills training, then the answer is yes. Many of the currently known disabilities such as Asperger’s Syndrome impair or affect a student’s ability to act appropriately in social situations. For such students the school district may have to provide additional services that teach social skills in a group setting or, on an individual basis with a psychologist or a social worker. This is usually determined on a case by case basis.
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Is my child’s school district responsible for any other than educational costs related to my child’s residential placement?
This depends on your child’s disability and his/her educational progress. If your child needs a residential placement in order to make adequate educational progress, your child’s school district must pay the full cost of the residential placement and the residential costs. While it is permissible for the school district to seek funding from other government agencies for the residential costs of the placement, the school district cannot delay the placement while it does so.
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As a parent of a disabled student what should I be aware of with respect to how my child may be disciplined in a school setting?
All students have rights against being disciplined unfairly. Nevertheless, students with disabilities have far more protection against unfair or inappropriate discipline than non-disabled students.
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Please see our Frequently Asked Questions regarding Estate Planning For People With Disabilities>>
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions regarding Adult Services For People With Disabilities >>

Please feel free to tour our site seeking anything that you may have in relation with our special education legal services in New Jersey. Please contact The Levine Law Firm with any further thoughts and questions, we are more than happy to help.



Levine Lawyers provides legal services for these New Jersey counties:

Bergen County

Passaic County
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Essex County
Hudson County
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Morris County
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