» How Do I Ensure My Child with Special Needs Gets appropriate services, especially in light of the recent audit that shows the School System Failed Many Special Education Students
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How Do I Ensure My Child with Special Needs Gets appropriate services, especially in light of the recent audit that shows the School System Failed Many Special Education Students

February 8th, 2012

New York City Controller John C. Liu recently released an audit about the city’s special education services. It glaringly shows that NYC’s school system did not adequately provide services for children with special needs during the 2009-2010 school season. Direct Student Services, which is an $839 million program, failed to provide physical and occupational therapy as well as speech, vision, and hearing services to more than 72,000 children.

Liu said special education vendors were not recruited fast enough and utilized more. Expensive independent consultants instead were paid for in some circumstances, the audit noted. Discrepancies also existed in different burroughs of New York. Only 20 percent of special ed preschoolers in the Bronx’s Soundview section and 26 percent in East New York, Brooklyn received required services. This is in stark contrast to 91 percent of Brooklyn Crown Heights preschoolers and 86 percent of Ridgewood and Middle Village, Queens preschoolers receiving services.

What can be done to ensure your child gets the appropriate special education services:

  • Meet with a special education lawyer to create an Individualized Education Plan
  • Locate and secure enrollment in the right educational environment
  • Obtain and maintain other educational and therapeutic services
  • Stay updated on local, state, and federal laws for special education rights

Parents are concerned about their children with special needs that have been referred for support services but have not received the educational and other services they deserve. Families with a child with special needs deserve an advocate on their side to protect the rights of their child. To learn more about New York special education advocacy or New York special needs planning, visit http://www.littmankrooks.com or http://www.specialneedsnewyork.com

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