Children With Disabilities "Special Needs"
Disability Advocates of Oklahoma, LLC
Founded in 2000, Disability Advocates of Oklahoma was the first to offer Parents the combination of legal & Child Advocate services. This combination allows parents to receive a "two for one" service in the form of Child Advocates who work in conjunction with our Attorneys to provide the very best special education services and benefits.
Our mission is to help Parents obtain highly qualified, yet affordable, Attorneys and Child Advocates in obtaining special education services and benefits for their children with special needs.
Disability Advocates of Oklahoma specializes in helping special needs children from age three (3) through nineteen (19), or upon graduation from high school, with their educational and behavioral, and discipline issues.
We at Disability Advocates of Oklahoma (DOA) assist Parents in developing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for their children with special needs. We also assist families in obtaining all benefits and services available to children with special needs as guaranteed by Federal and State law.
Disability Advocates of Oklahoma is Oklahoma's only full service source for Parents, Students, and disabled individuals who need assistance with all forms of educational, disability, and disciplinary problems
Specifically, our services to Parents include:
If you child with Special Needs is being suspended or disciplined because of conduct which is related to the child's disability, we can help. Under Federal Law, schools are restricted from disciplining or suspending children with Special Needs.
Discipline includes : denial of recess; denial of participation in athletics or other extra curricular activities; and suspension (in school or out of school suspensions.
Call us . We can stop schools from disciplining or suspending your child with special needs.
2. Student's Educational Records:
First, in order to evaluate the needs of the Student, we help the Parents obtain all educational (school) records from the School District with relate to the Student. We also have the Parents obtain all medical records which relate to the child, such as evaluations and disability diagnoses.
3. Prepare for and Attend (if necessary) the IEP Team Meeting:
Disability Advocates will assist the Parents in preparing for the IEP Team Meeting. Moreover, if necessary, we will accompany the Parent(s) to the IEP Team meeting as the Parent's spokesperson.
Prior to the IEP team meeting, we draft a written list of all special education services and benefits which should be included n the Student's IEP. We call the itemized list the "Parental Concerns/Requests".
Typically the special education services and benefits which might be requested to be placed in the formal IEP document include the following:
a. Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE).
If the child has never been given an evaluation, or if the child has been evaluated but the evaluation is inadequate, we insist that the IEE be performed by an independent, unbiased professional. The IEE will tell the Parents and the District exactly what disabilities the child has, in addition to measuring IQ, describing the child's physical limitations, and detailing all other problems. The IEE is essential in drafting the best Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for the child. The IEE is to be at no cost to the Parents.
b. Assistive Technology Evaluation:
At the IEP, we insists that the District provide, free of charge to the Parents, an "Assistive Technology Evaluation", which is normally provided by an independent agencies such as the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center.
Once the Assistive Technology Evaluation is accomplished, we attend the IEP team meeting to assist the Parents and the other IEP team members to draft an appropriate IEP which includes those assistive technology devices and services needed by the Student
This evaluation is necessary whenever a Student would benefit from any type of assistive device or software program. Moreover, these technology devices and programs are free of charge to the Parents.
Many, if not most , children with special needs would greatly benefit from the use of such devices, which include such things as tape recorders for lectures or taking notes or assignments: laptop computers; specialized keyboards; or specialized writing utensils.
Students with more serious disabilities might benefit by augmentation devices, also known as communication boards; wheelchairs; and other mobility devices.
In addition, there are countless software programs available for just about every type of disability, including Dyslexia, Disgraphia , or other problems with spelling, reading, or math to name a few.
The list of devices and software programs available, without cost, is almost unlimited. See our list of assistive technology suppliers in this web site.
c. Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA):
If the Student is displaying behavioral and /or disciplinary problems in school, we request the District provide, free of charge, a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) of the Student.
The FBA is a free evaluation in which the child is observed in a variety of environments such as several classrooms, the playground, and even at home. The evaluation or assessment is designed to determine what causes the child to engage in undesirable behavior or conduct.
D. Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP):
Once the FBA is completed, we assist the parents and the School in drafting a Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) specifically designed to address the child's special behavioral conduct.
A well-written, appropriate BIP is a written plan to help the Student and the teachers to react in a positive, supportive manner whenever the Student engages in inappropriate behavior.
The best way to prevent your child from being suspended or disciplined is to develop a good Behavioral Intervention Plan. The existence of a good BIP may prevent the child from being suspended or expelled for inappropriate behavior/conduct which is caused by (a manifestation) the Student's disability.
E. Related Services:
Children with special needs generally are entitled to receive, at no cost, "related services" such as Physical Therapy (PT), Occupational Therapy (OT), and Speech/Language (SL). We assist special needs children in obtaining these services.
Physical Therapy (PT) is therapy provided by specialized professionals who help the child develop large mussels involved in gross motor skills such as setting, standing, walking, running, and all bodily movements.
Occupational Therapy (OT) is provided by professionals and is designed to assist the special needs child with improving their fine motor shills such as grasping with the hands, drawing, writing, etc.
Speech/Language Therapy(S/L) must be administered by a licensed, speech pathologist. This therapy is absolutely necessary for special needs children who are experiencing difficulties in all forms of speech and language processing.
School Districts frequently refuse to provide OT, PT and /or SL, or will provide such therapies on a limited basis. We will demand that the School provide the appropriate amount of Related Services as requested by the Parents.
Frequently a child with special needs requires the assistance of a full or part time aide or Paraprofessional. Schools are generally not willing to provide a "one-on-one" aide or Paraprofessional. We assist Parents in obtaining one-on-one aide's for the Student.
G. Extended School Year (ESY);
We assist parents in getting special education services for their Student during the summer months &/ or during the times the District is normally on "Breaks" such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring breaks.
ESY is not to be confused with "summer school". ESY is a special education program specifically tailored to the educational needs of student with special needs. An appropriate ESY program is not a "one size fits all" type of educational plan.
H. Educational Goals:
Finally, and most important, Disability Advocates assist the Parents in drafting appropriate educational goals relating to all aspects of the Student's special education needs.
4. Due Process Hearings:
If the School District refuses to provide the educational services and benefits to which the Student is entitled, we will assist Parents in requiring the School to comply with the law. This is accomplished by the filing of a Due Process Complaint with the State Department of Education.
Disability Advocates will submit the issues listed in the Due Process Complaint to a Hearing Officer appointed by the State Department of Education. A Due Process Hearing is a quasi legal proceeding which involves the presentation of testimony by way of witnesses and exhibits. When appropriate, Disability Advocates of Okla. will draft a legal brief on behalf of the Parents to be submitted to the Hearing Officer.
5. Social Security:
Disability Advocates of Oklahoma also provides expert legal representation for Social Security and Social Security Disability legal issues.
Disability Advocates of Oklahoma is Oklahoma's most experienced legal and advocate full service source for Parents, Students, and disabled individuals who need assistance with all forms of educational, disability, and disciplinary problems.
Call us now for a FREE EVALUATION at 877-324-KIDS (5437) or 405-767-3300.