Your Special Education Rights: What Parents Don't Know Can Hurt Them

The definitive guide for parents of children with disabilities is out - and just in time for the start of the new school year.

The book - Your Special Education Rights: What Your School District Isn't Telling You - is authored by two special education experts and draws on decades of experience from the front lines of special education advocacy.

The authors, Jennifer Laviano and Julie Swanson, detail a strong, practical, and results oriented perspective that helps parents cut through the fog of special education to get the services their children deserve.

"Our bottom line is parents are often ineffective at advocating for their child because they don't know their rights," said Jennifer Laviano, co-author and special education attorney. "We see it time and again: The child doesn't get what he or she needs because the parents don't know what they don't know. This book looks to change that," Laviano added.

Your Special Education Rights demystifies the federal laws related to public school children with disabilities and explains how school districts often ignore or circumvent the law.

"We're passionate to pull the curtain back on the realities of special education - and tell parents the truths that school districts don't always disclose," said Julie Swanson, co-author and special education advocate, who's also the mother of a child with a disability. "Our message to parents is - plain and simple: Know your rights or run the risk of being taken advantage of," Swanson added.

Your Special Education Rights provides parents with vital information and specific guidance to address key challenges - including: How to respond to special education "urban legends" like your child is "too smart" for services; how to avoid "toothless" language in a special education plan; and overcoming discrimination and low expectations. The book also explains why now, more than ever before, parents must be vigilant to protect children's rights - and how recent Supreme Court case law and changes at the federal level impact children with disabilities.

Though Your Special Education Rights is for parents primarily, educators and administrators can also learn how difficult it can be for parents to understand the special education system, which hopefully helps schools and parents work more closely.

Your Special Education Rights is published by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc and is widely available from booksellers on August 15th. Learn more here.

About the Authors

Jennifer Laviano is a special education attorney in private practice in Connecticut. Her firm's representation of children with special needs encompasses the full spectrum of advocacy under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504, from attendance at IEP team meetings and mediation to litigation in due process hearings and federal court. She is a regular presenter about the special legal rights of children with disabilities and their entitlement to receive a free and appropriate education and to be free from disability-based discrimination.

Julie Swanson is a special education advocate whose practice grew out of her efforts to help her son. As an advocate, she helps parents navigate the special education process, including attending IEP and Section 504 meetings. She speaks frequently on special education matters and has a long-standing history of service on special education-related state boards, task forces, and legislative appointments to state councils.

SOURCE: BUSINESS WIRE. ©2017 Business Wire

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