Shields Law Firm, a leading special education law firm, is pleased to offer a collection of practical tips for parents and caregivers of students with special needs as they prepare for the upcoming school year. This valuable resource aims to empower families by providing valuable insights and actionable advice, enabling a seamless and successful transition into the new academic year.

As the academic year begins, it is crucial for parents and caregivers of students with special needs to navigate the complexities of educational systems effectively. Shields Law understands the challenges faced by families and is committed to assisting them in securing the best possible educational opportunities for their children.

“Our goal is to provide families with the knowledge and resources they need to advocate for their child’s needs,” said Kevin Shields, owner and special needs law attorney at  Shields Law. “We believe that every student, regardless of their abilities, deserves an inclusive and supportive learning environment. And with these tips, parents and caregivers can set the stage for their child’s success.”

The firm offers four tips for back-to-school success for children with special needs and their families.

  1. Understand Your Child’s Rights

It is crucial for parents of children with special needs to understand their child’s rights when it comes to education. Familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations that protect students with disabilities, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

These laws ensure that children with special needs have access to appropriate education and support services. By understanding your child’s rights, you can effectively advocate for their needs and ensure they receive the accommodations and services they are entitled to.

  1. Develop or Review Your Individualized Education Program (IEP)

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legally binding document that outlines the educational goals and services for a child with special needs. It is essential to develop or review your child’s IEP before the start of the school year. Collaborate with the school’s special education team to discuss your child’s strengths, challenges, and specific needs.

Make sure the IEP addresses all aspects of your child’s education, including academic, social, and emotional support. Regularly monitor and update the IEP as necessary to ensure it reflects your child’s current needs and goals.

  1. Establish Open Communication with the School

Open and effective communication with your child’s school is vital for their success. Establish a positive working relationship with your child’s teachers, special education coordinator, and other relevant staff members.

Attend parent-teacher conferences and meetings to stay informed about your child’s progress and address any concerns. Be proactive in sharing information about your child’s strengths, challenges, and strategies that work best for them. Regularly communicate with the school to discuss any changes in your child’s needs and collaborate on appropriate solutions.

  1. Stay Organized and Maintain Records

Keep a file of all relevant documents, including evaluations, progress reports, correspondence, and IEP-related paperwork. Having organized records will make it easier to track your child’s progress and advocate for their needs during meetings or if any disputes arise.

Special education often involves various deadlines and important dates, such as annual IEP meetings, evaluations, or requests for accommodations. Use a calendar or reminder system to stay on top of these dates and ensure you submit any required paperwork or requests in a timely manner.

  1. Working with an Experienced Special Education Lawyer

In complex situations or when disputes arise, it can be helpful to work with an experienced special education lawyer. A lawyer with expertise in special education law can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process. They can help you understand your child’s rights, navigate legal procedures, and advocate for your child’s best interests.

If you encounter challenges in securing appropriate educational services or face conflicts with the school district, consulting a special education lawyer can ensure that your child’s rights are protected and their educational needs are met effectively.

“Our team is here to support families in their journey,” added Kevin “We understand the unique challenges that students with special needs face, and we are dedicated to making a positive impact on their educational experiences.”

For further information about Shields Law or to schedule a consultation, please visit

Visit their firm at one of their three Texas locations:

  • 720 Rusk St Ste 501 Houston, TX 77002
  • 18911 Hardy Oak Blvd Suite 144 San Antonio, TX 78258
  • 24285 Katy Fwy Suite 300A Katy, TX 77494

About Shields Law – Special Needs & Special Education Law

Shields Law Firm is a leading advocate for students with special education needs in Texas. With a team of dedicated attorneys, the firm has successfully represented countless families, ensuring their children receive the appropriate educational services they deserve. Shields Law Firm is committed to promoting equal access to quality education for all students, regardless of their unique needs.

Shields Law Firm serves families across the state of Texas.