The Law Office of PATRICIA S. PHELAN


When Do You Need A Special Education Attorney?

     As a parent, you are your child’s best advocate.  However, there are times when despite your best efforts, you may need the help of an experienced and educated legal professional to obtain appropriate special educational services for your child.  Located in Rockland County, New York, in close proximity to Westchester, Orange, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties, as well as all five boroughs of New York City, The Law Office of Patricia S. Phelan is here to provide you this necessary legal guidance.  

     I am an experienced litigator as well as a parent of a child with a disability.  This professional and personal experience enable me to understand what you are going through, as well as what is legally and practically necessary to help your child.  Accordingly, rest assured I will relentlessly represent your family’s special needs interests with compassion and zeal. 

     Of course, the most common time people feel the need to contact a special education attorney such as myself is when they disagree with their school district (or depending on the age of their child, the county).  Indeed, I encourage you to contact me as soon as possible if you disagree with the recommendations made by the CPSE [Committee on Preschool Special Education] or CSE [Committee on Special Education] at your child’s IEP [Individualized Education Program] meeting.  Also do not hesitate to contact me if your child is less than 3 years old, and you disagree with the recommendations made by the county at your child’s IFSP [Individualized Family Service Plan] meeting.  I can evaluate and explain  to you your options under the law, and help you to determine the best course of action for your child. 

     While many cases can be resolved without formal litigation, there are those situations where litigation is unavoidable.  If it is appropriate, rest assured I will professionally and diligently represent you and your child throughout all aspects of an impartial due process hearing, and or mediation. 

     However, I do encourage you to be as proactive, organized and collaborative as possible in an effort to avoid litigation.  If at all possible, do not wait until you and your school district/county have come to an impasse, before you seek legal guidance.  Indeed, I recommend you contact me early in the process, to learn, understand and weigh your options under the law. 

     By contacting The Law Office of Patricia S. Phelan, you will be taking an important step in empowering yourself to become the best advocate you can be for your child.  I can help you understand the special education process, and your basic legal rights.  I can also assist you in writing letters to your school district, when necessary.  In addition to strategic letter writing, I can also teach you other helpful  strategies to enable you to become a more successful advocate for your child. I can help you interpret your child’s evaluations.  If appropriate under the law, I can assist you to seek a free, independent evaluation.  I can help you determine if you should obtain any private evaluations, to better understand your child’s strengths and needs.  I can guide you to work with medical and educational professionals to better understand your child’s present levels of performance, and determine appropriate recommendations for your child’s IEP.  These recommendations might include learning strategies, accommodations, modifications to the general education curriculum and environment, and IEP goals.  I can help you to prepare for IEP meetings, and if appropriate, accompany you to these meetings.

     Please contact The Law Office of Patricia S. Phelan so that I may help you and your school district (or county) work together to find an appropriate educational program for your child.  In my experience, the best outcomes for children come when parents and school districts (or the county) work as cooperatively and collaboratively with one another as possible.     

    Keep in mind that there is no single solution or right course of action to navigating all cases within the special education system.  Just like our children’s individual educational needs, every advocacy case is unique.  Please contact me if you seek the customized, professional , experienced and relentless advocacy that is appropriate for your child’s individual, special educational needs. 


February 4, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments