In the past few months, I’ve been reading several Autism Parents trying to address a serious issue at their children’s school: Bullying.
It’s heartbreaking to see the struggle a parent has to go through to just get a teacher or school principal to listen. From phone calls to letters, to anything else that needs to be documented so the appropriate action can be taken.
Our challenge as parents of special needs children is that we feel we have to convince people that our child – who ‘looks’ normal – can’t talk or act like other kids. That they act out as a means to communicate is something that may elude even the most seasoned professional.
There comes a time, however, that parents need to take extra precautions and may also need to take legal action. This can get even more expensive, as not everyone has a close friend or relative that would be willing to do legal work like this pro-bono.
As active parents with our own son, we understand where and when we need to step in – and work regularly with our son’s IEP team to address his educational plan. We are very grateful at this time that things are going rather well.
However, there are horror stories where parents have noticed that the IEP (Individual Educational Plan) isn’t being followed – or worse, that it’s being ignored altogether. Beyond an IEP, there have been instances where an Autistic child would have a serious meltdown, the parents are called – but can’t get near their child to help calm him/her down. Police would be called, and it would get rather messy.
Suffice it to say, it’s good to not only know one’s rights but also to have a legal option available if necessary.
Several years ago, when attending the Autism Society Conference in San Diego, I met Michelle Babitz and Robin Trigg – who co-founded Legal Shield Team Parent in Long Island, California.
Although they don’t have special needs kids of their own, they do have over 45 years combined knowledge as special education teachers.
The service they provide through legal shield allows parents a viable option so they can have confidence when addressing issues such as IEP meetings and even situations like bullying.
From their facebook page:
“just knowing I had my membership to fall back on and an entire law firm to back me up gave me the confidence and posture to conduct that meeting in a way that I knew it was non-negotiable that I was going to get the services I needed for my daughter. ”
“Today a parent joined our membership to deal with an issue of her daughter being bullied and the school Principe refusing to address the issue. I love blessing parents.”
Sometimes it’s not about actually taking legal action, other times it is. But knowing there are appropriate legal options available is an important step in making the right decision as a parent for their child.
They have an account here on Autisable – Legal Shield Team Parent – and will soon be contributing some of their experiences. They have also been a serious supporter in ensuring Autisable is able to keep the lights on, for which we are incredibly grateful.
For more information, or to contact Team Parent – CLICK HERE.