If your child has disabilities, or may have disabilities, figuring out your options can be mind-boggling. This clickable chart is designed to help you through the maze. It is written for parents of children with disabilities (or those who have parental decision-making authority for educational decisions). It is not intended to be legal advice or to form an attorney-client relationship, but only to give you a rough overview of how the system works. Each family’s situation is different, and there are many fine points to the law that are not in this guide. It cannot replace the services of an attorney who practices in this area. The chart is compiled for parents in Colorado. Because educating children with disabilities is controlled by federal statutes, some of this material may be relevant outside of Colorado. However, some of this material is based on Colorado statutes and regulations and may not apply in other states.
Why would you hire an attorney rather than do it yourself with help from a CD or website? Aside from providing knowledge and skills you may not have, a good attorney should help you by thinking in certain ways. Let’s examine some of those ways.
Attorneys and sometimes other intellectuals get teased that they “think like a lawyer.” (Perhaps the real problem is “talking like a lawyer,” which is boring, incomprehensible, or both.) “Thinking like a lawyer” is the point of three expensive years of law school.
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