Special Education


-  Obtaining services for your child
-  Identifying & Obtaining Appropriate Assessments
-  Support in IEP Meetings
-  Obtaining the Right Placement and Services
-  Outside placements
-  Due Process Hearings
-  Behavior Plans
-  Discipline and Expulsions
-  Student Records
-  Communicating With the School


Student Intake and Eligibility

Student Assessments

Many parents are unaware of how to get their children assessed to see if they are entitled to receive special education or other services.  We can assist parents with the initial intake and assessment process, including dealing with issues concerning denial of eligibility and incomplete or inadequate assessments.

Special needs students are entitled to be assessed in all areas of reasonably suspected disabilities.  We can help determine if the school has provided all the assessments you child needs, including doing follow-up annual and triennial assessments.  We also provide assistance in obtaining independent outside assessments provided by school districts

IEPs and Meetings

Appropriate Placement and Services

The IEP process is one of the most important aspects of your child's special education program.  Parents often are unaware of their rights in an IEP meeting and do not know what questions to ask or what the school district is required to do.  We attend meetings with our clients to make sure these requirements are met and to facilitate open and effective communications with the full IEP team.  We also attend informal school site meetings at parent request to assist monitoring compliance with the IEP.

School districts must consider a spectrum of placements and services for each special needs child to make sure that the child's individual needs are met -- no "cookie cutter" placements are allowed!  We assist parents in sorting through the maze of placements and services to help them determine the reasonableness and appropriateness of the school district's offer.

Outside Placements

Due Process Hearings

School districts often are not able to provide an appropriate placement within the school district.  We can help parents and the IEP team determine what outside placement is appropriate, including placements in other school districts or in non-public schools and agencies.  If necessary, we advise parents with respect to private school placements, including the steps they must take to perfect their right to seek reimbursement for such placements.

In the event that you are not able to secure the placements and services your child is entitled to, we can assist with the Due Process Hearing procedure.  We have long-standing and in-depth knowledge of the highly specialized area of special education law, and have repeatedly achieved success on behalf of our clients.  We also assist in the mediation process, and help the parties "think outside the box" when it comes to resolving disputed special education cases.

Behavioral Plans

Discipline and Expulsions

Special needs students often require behavioral supports and plans to help them succeed in class.  We can help you determine what type of plan is best for your child and help with the very sensitive issues surrounding school use of restraints and other responses to inappropriate behaviors.

Parents often incorrectly believe that their special needs children are not subject to school discipline requirements.  In fact, special needs students are subject to such requirements in many circumstances.  We can provide direct support in the often rapidly-developing situations involving special eduction student discipline and keep school districts from unnecessarily jumping to the suspension or expulsion process.  If your child is involved in an expulsion proceeding, we can help to ensure that their rights in that process are protected.

Student Records

Communicating With the School

Parents have broad rights to view and receive copies of all of their children's education and special eduction records.  We assist parents in making record requests, including asking for the types of records that school districts often do not provide unless they are specifically demanded.

One of the best benefits of a special education attorney or an advocate is their knowledge of which "buttons" to push in order to get a response from the district.  With the use of appropriate language and educational and legal terms, we often are able to clear roadblocks and get communications flowing again.

The Sturges Law Firm - 1404 Bernal Avenue, Burlingame, CA 94010
t: 415.254.9141 f: 650.492.7700