How to Tell if Your Child Qualifies as a Special Needs Student in New Jersey

If your child has special needs of any kind, it is important that you know your child’s rights and all he or she is entitled to in terms of services that can improve his or her educational experience. Your child deserves a fair shake, and as a parent, it is your duty to do all you can to ensure your child gets access to all options on the table.

How do you know your child qualifies as a special needs student in New Jersey?

To qualify as a special needs student, your son or daughter must fall under one of two statutes. The first is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. To qualify, your child must have a disability listed in the statute, and he or she must also require special education services. The second statute your child may qualify under is Section 504. Section 504 essentially covers a child with any sort of disability, and your child only has to prove that his disability has a significant impact on his life. Essentially, if your child has a physical disability, such as requiring a wheelchair to get around, he would qualify for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. If your child has ADD or any other form of mental condition that inhibits his or her ability to learn, he or she would also qualify for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. However, if your son or daughter has a food allergy or another condition of that nature, your child would qualify for Section 504, as this has an impact on life in general, and not specifically on in-class learning.

What services are available for your child with special needs?

Fortunately, public schools have access to essentially every service your child may need, and as long as you are able to demonstrate evidence of a need, there is no limit to the amount of special services your child can potentially receive. Some of these services may include your child’s need for a smaller classroom, a different delivery of the curriculum, or even a one-on-one aide. Special transportation and technological services are also available within the public school systems, as long as you can demonstrate your child’s evidence of a need.

Will your school always tell you the truth about gaining access to the services your child may be entitled to?

In short, the answer is, unfortunately, “no.” Because these services will cost your school district extra money, they will sometimes tell you that the services your child requires are not available to him or her. This is usually not true, and that is why you must prove your child needs these services first. Therefore, it is always important to hire an experienced attorney who will vigorously fight for your child’s rights, as we understand how important it is for your child to gain access to all the programs he or she deserves and needs to succeed.

Contact our New Jersey firm

The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced defense attorneys throughout the state of New Jersey. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding criminal charges and procedures.