Hunter is a 7-year-old in 1st grade at the local elementary school.
He has trouble with some of his speech sounds, and also struggles with reading and following directions in class. He’s great at math and is popular in school.
His mom Maria hired a private tutor recommended by the school district to help with homework. Hunter also receives speech therapy through the school after a friend suggested he receive testing for speech services.
She was told that there was nothing that could be done because he was too young to test. “Do you really want a label put on him if they found out something was wrong?” They suggested that it was best to wait it out and see if he could catch up by the end of first grade.
Maria went to see a private psychologist who charged $2,500 for educational testing. The results showed that he had a learning disability in the area of reading and that he should be receiving resource support.
That’s when Maria reached out to Helen.
Helen explained to Maria that the school should have done psychological testing for free. The school district is obligated to assess in all areas of suspected disability once a parent brings it to their attention. In addition, the private tutor should have also given the school plenty of indication that Hunter needed extra support.
Maria submitted a written request for the additional testing along with a legally mandated timeline with Helen’s assistance.
The result?Hunter qualified for the additional services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and an appropriate IEP was put into place.
Helen attended an Individual Education Program (IEP) meeting along with Maria to ensure compliance by the school district. The services will be in place for three years with annual reviews. At the three-year time frame, he will be re-evaluated for eligibility and services under the IDEA guidelines.
Understand Your Rights
The U.S. Special Education system is a large and complex system driven by a set of federal laws. This law known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that every school-aged child who has a disability and who qualifies for special education services must have a written plan for their education.
This plan is called an Individual Education Program (IEP).
Most parents don’t know about these laws, and they don’t know how to navigate the overburdened public education system.
Your Expert Advocate to Help
Helen Painter has worked in special education for 16 years in California and Washington, both as an occupational therapist and as a Director of Special Education. She also holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from California State University Sacramento (2004) with a major in special education law.
“A philosophy of win/win/win advocacy for results.”
Helen understands what you’re facing and has experience sitting on both sides of the table serving as both a clinician and as an administrator, working with IEP teams including teachers, specialists, attorneys, parents, and of course students
She knows how to bring everyone together and find solutions to meet the needs of children who are in special education programs, or who need to be evaluated to enter into a special education program. Her philosophy is one of
Take the next step… click here to schedule your complimentary initial consultation with Helen Painte. She’ll listen, help you understand your opinions, and get results for your you and your family.
Please understand, Helen is not a lawyer and doesn’t provide legal advice. She simply serves as your consultant and expert advocate helping you access all the resources available to help your child reach their highest