“If you want to be genuinely kind, you have to be of actual benefit - nobody wants to be the recipient of “help” that isn’t really helpful - and you have to provide that benefit in a way that shows respect and empathy for the other person’s needs.”
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
 

Special Needs Advocacy 

“My child is drowning and everyone just patiently explains to me why their rope is too short.”
“We stagger from crisis to crisis, walking sometimes on eggshells, sometimes on nails.”

Parents of children with special needs are often skilled advocates and negotiators who have spent hours and years researching, planning, arguing, fighting and crying.  They are experts on their child having assimilated stacks of information and advice.  They usually have been referred by a friend or trusted advisor who knows that a tangle of legal, financial and emotional issues arise when the route is not the traditional or typical one.  These issues arise as you struggle from day to day as well as when you look ahead and realize you have to plan for the future.

At JanZagerLaw, we help not only in the traditional area of special needs planning, but also in special needs advocacy.  With our years of experience in the legal, education, healthcare and social service systems and our holistic perspective, we see how the systems work or don’t work together.   We provide advice and advocacy legal services on issues that arise any time from birth through vulnerable adulthood.  We can meet with you specifically regarding special education eligibility and programming.   In many instances, it is most cost-effective for us to take an advisory role and prepare you for meetings although we can represent you at meetings with school personnel or in administrative and judicial hearings.  Children with special needs also have rights, entitlements and needs addressed by the developmental disabilities, mental health, juvenile justice or child welfare systems.  We address how to gain access and services within those systems while protecting family rights and integrity.

We also work with parents going through what feels like the sudden and odd transition of having a child with disabilities turn eighteen and be considered an adult.  It seems that everyone else gets access to information about this child you advocated for and defended just yesterday but you.  The law becomes the enemy. In the interests of civil liberties, it feels like you are blocked you from a role in your child’s life, decisions and care, even as you may remain financially and emotionally responsible.  At JanZagerLaw, we work with parents who need to take steps to protect their vulnerable adult children as they transition from school-based rights to other forms of social and governmental support.  After we have helped you become your adult child’s legal guardian, we calendar the necessary dates for future reports and can prepare these reports for you.