Mobile, Alabama, residents with special needs children must rely on their child’s school to provide a suitable education. As previous posts on this blog have discussed, under federal law, they have every right to do so. However, getting what one wants out of their child’s school system is not always easy.

There can be disagreements about what a child’s IEP might look like, and there can be fundamental disagreements about whether a child truly qualifies as disabled in the first place or what exactly the nature and extent of that disability is.

It is important for parents in Alabama who may be having a disagreement with their school to remember that they have certain rights to voice their concerns and advocate for their child’s interests. They do not have to take the school’s word as final and definitive. For instance, assuming an informal compromise has failed, parents may be able to resort to a type of mediation in which a third party helps the parent work out the issues with the school.

Failing that, a parent has the right to lodge a formal complaint with the school. If the issue still cannot be resolved, the parent will get the opportunity to be heard in front of someone with the authority to make decisions. The next step after that will likely entail a complaint with the appropriate regulatory agency.

Each of these steps is important to preserve one’s legal interests and thereby protect their children. However, doing so can be complicated and confusing even for the most capable of parents, as they may not be familiar with the system. For this reason, it is important to have the help of a lawyer with experience in special education law.