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Special Education Law Tips

November 2016
2 Things that will help your child with school

Since we know that parents of special needs kids don't have a ton of spare time, our newsletter is designed to be short but sweet.  Enjoy these 2 Things and if you know someone who will also benefit from these tips, please feel free to pass it along.  Thank you from all of us at!

Time for Guardianship?
When and why a parent should obtain guardianship over a child with a disability are very common questions.  I'll try to answer these questions.  First, note that guardianship law may differ depending on the state in which you live.

When an individual reaches the age of adulthood, even one with developmental disabilities,  the parents can no longer legally make decisions for that child. Guardianship is a way to enable the parents to continue making decisions for that child after that age, especially when the child is incapable of making his/her own decisions.

Guardianship is accomplished by filing an application with a court.  There is a filing fee and the application must be accompanied by an affidavit from a physician that states that the child is incapable of making decisions on his/her own.  The court will then conduct a psychological evaluation and appoint an attorney to act on behalf of the child (called a "Guardian ad Litem" or GAL) to protect his/her rights.  The guardianship, if granted, can be "plenary" (all decisions) or limited to specific decisions (education, medical, legal, financial, etc.)

Is there an alternative to guardianship? Yes, a Power of Attorney (POA) achieves the same result.  However, the child must be competent to grant the POA and usually the disability renders the child incompetent. This is why guardianship is a better option.

Purchase a 30 minute consultation on guardianship for $100 by clicking the link below.  One of our attorneys will contact you to schedule the consultation.
30 Minute Consultation
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Manifestation of Disability
If your child has an IEP and the school wants to discipline your child for behavior, you should understand the terms "manifestation of disability" and "manifestation determination meeting". Know your rights.

If a child with a disability has violated the student conduct code and such violation will result in a change in placement for more than 10 consecutive school days, the school district must convene an IEP Team Meeting with the parent(s).  This is called a "Manifestation Determination Meeting" and must occur within 10 school days of the alleged violation.

The purpose of such meeting is to determine if the child’s misconduct was caused by or had a "direct and substantial relationship to the child’s disability" or was the direct result of the school’s failure to properly implement the IEP. If the IEP team finds that the behavior IS a manifestation of the child's disability, then other legal rights kick in.

This does not mean that a child with a disability may not be disciplined for behavior. It simply means the school must take extra steps to determine if the misconduct is related to the disability. Further, if there is a pattern of short term removals or disciplines, the school may be violating your child's legal rights.

If your child has a disability and the school wants to discipline your child, click below for a 30 minute consultation to learn your and your child's legal rights. The cost is $100 and will be scheduled as quickly as possible.
30 Minute Consultation
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Our upcoming events:

Jan. TBD, 2017 - Special Education Law 101
Family Partners of Hudson County
Apr. 4, 2017 - Autism Series at Camden County College
Legal Issues Facing ASD Individuals at Age 21
Blackwood, NJ Campus, 6:30 pm

Our book SchoolKidsLawyer's Guide to Special Education Law: Workbook for Parents, Advocates and Lawyers

Click HERE for more details!
Past issues of the 2 Things Newsletter are now archived online in both HMTL and PDF formats.

If you have a group or organization that is interested in hosting a special education seminar, please contact us at

School Kids Lawyer

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