- Our attorneys have decades of combined experience working with families with special education and disability legal issues. We have represented students and families in all aspects of special education.
- We offer a lifelong service, as our Special Education practice is part of our unique Trust & Estate/Special Needs/Elder Law practice group. We assist families through the special education years as well as with all life-planning matters for the person with special needs entering adulthood, including guardianship and estate planning.
- The attorneys at Fletcher Tilton are committed to the disability community through our involvement with organizations such as the Arc of Massachusetts, the Cardinal Cushing Center and the Massachusetts Sibling Support Network, for siblings of people with disabilities. This enables us to offer practical advice and representation in an understanding and caring environment.
Obtaining appropriate special education services for a child with disabilities can be a confusing and overwhelming experience. Successfully navigating through the complex laws and procedures governing the special education system requires an experienced guide.
We work as advocates for students with disabilities and their families to ensure that each child receives a free, appropriate public education as required under state and federal law. Our representation extends to all stages of advocacy in the special education process, including assessment, IEP development, implementation and placement. We have extensive experience with matters regarding necessary specialized services, appropriate transition services for students ages 14 to 22, bullying and harassment, inclusion in general education, discipline, and obtaining out-of-district placements. We assist our clients at school meetings, in mediation and in hearings before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals.
Successful results for our clients
- A school district thought an 18-year-old student with Asperger’s Syndrome was ready to graduate and end special education services because he passed the minimum requirements for the MCAS exam and local graduation. However, the school district had not provided adequate post-education transition services as required by special education law. After invoking the student’s stay-put rights to halt graduation, we successfully negotiated with the school district to obtain appropriate transition services. The school district agreed to continue the student’s special education eligibility and fund services at a specialized program that would assist the student with vocational and employment skills training.
- A mother was desperate to obtain a residential placement for her son who is deaf and has significant psychiatric issues. The student was not making progress at school and the level of violence at home was increasing despite intensive in-home services. We obtained placement at a residential school able to meet the specialized needs of her son.
- A mother and father needed help obtaining a therapeutic day placement for their teenage son, who had been out of school for a year and received minimal tutoring services. The son had severe anxiety issues that prevented him from entering the local school and had led to serious self-injurious behavior. We arranged for an extended evaluation at a therapeutic day program for the student. After the evaluation period, the school district agreed to allow the student to remain at the therapeutic school. The student received the appropriate educational supports and services and was able to enjoy his educational experience for the first time in several years.