As a parent of a child with a developmental disability, you are entitled to certain services provided in a voluntary, nondiscriminatory manner. These rights include the right to be evaluated, the right to be involved and informed and the right to consent. View full listing of rights online.

In some situations, a parent may need a special needs attorney to help him/her fight for his/her child’s education. The system can be overwhelming; sometimes, it can feel like you are a small voice fighting against the wind. In these situations, a special needs attorney can help ensure the appropriate actions are taken to benefit you and your child.

It is advisable to seek advice from a special needs attorney in the event that a) your situation is complicated, b) you work full-time and don’t have enough time or energy to properly prepare for or attend court cases or c) your school district has its own attorney, therefore increasing your odds. Be prepared that attorneys can be costly; however, there are several pro bono attorneys available.

An attorney does not replace your role as the parent; rather, an attorney becomes your voice, a partner, an advocate and your source of knowledge in certain situations.

“She is a tree of life for those who hold fast to her, and happy are those who support her.”

Pirkei Avot - Ethics of the Fathers 3:18

Local Resources

Legal Aid Service of Broward County
Provides high-quality, free civil legal advice, representation and education to the disadvantaged of Broward County to improve the lifestyle and living conditions of the low-income community and encourage self-sufficiency.

Nova Southeastern University Law School Adults with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Law Clinic 
Provides pro bono legal counseling and representation by law students, under the direct supervision of staff attorneys, in gaining and/or maintaining public benefits.. They advocate on behalf of clients with disabilities whose legal rights have been usurped in such areas as employment, education, government services, private business accommodations and housing, guardian advocacy and guardianship counseling.

Nova Southeastern University Law School Law Launchpad Program
Provides pro bono legal services to indigent clients and offers reduced fees to clients of moderate means.

Americans Live With an Autism Spectrum Disorder
of Children Have Been Diagnosed with a Developmental Disability