Hudson Valley Parent

HVP October 2018

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Page 22 of 39 n Hudson Valley Parent 23 Specializing in children of all needs from infancy to teen Sedation Dentistry available Laser revision of tongue and lip tie Child friendly environment with video games, Netflix TV and playhouse Most insurances accepted as full or partial payment. Poughkeepsie, points to organizations like Abilities First as a way to learn more before bringing in a lawyer. She suggests the best time for a lawyer in these situations, is after the service is contested and parents have been through an appeal process. ABCs of the School Years McGrane says attorneys are able to help with many steps in the education process. She lists assistance with CSE meetings, advice and assistance throughout the individualized education program (IEP) process, and 504 meetings, as a few of the more regular services handled by attorneys. She also reminds parents that attorneys can handle all the steps of the process, or just the tasks parents think they need help with. That enables parents to work within their budget. "I am always looking for a way to work cooperatively with the school district," McGrane says. "Litigation is not always the best way to proceed. I leave litigation for when everything else fails to produce results." "Going to an attorney does not require hiring the attorney," adds Patricia S. Phelan, a special education lawyer in Rockland County. "While not all attorneys offer this service, much information can be gained from me in the initial consultation I offer parents for a fixed fee. Working with a special education attorney does not require the district to know you hired an attorney. Many times, parents are initially hesitant to let a district know they hired an attorney. Frequently, I work under the radar of districts, assisting parents with drafting correspondence, obtaining private evaluations, preparing for meetings, monitoring their child's performance and documenting evidence to support their case." (Continued on Page 24)

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