At Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler we’ve advocated for children with special needs and their families throughout New Jersey for more than 40 years. Since our founding in 1975, we’ve helped thousands of families gain access to — and benefit from — special education programs for their special needs children. Whether advocating through a school district individualized education program (IEP) or fighting in court, we remain dedicated to your child’s needs to help you realize your goals.
We focus solely on supporting special education for special needs children, and we are uniquely qualified to do so: Each attorney with our firm is the parent of a special needs child and has a background in special education. We look at the long-term goals for your child, knowing that legal advocacy is critical to protecting their right to learn as well as receive benefits. We also offer income and asset planning services to ensure your children continue to live a full life once they’ve become adults. Our planning and educational access practices include representation regarding:
• Individualized Education Programs (IEPs): We help you analyze your child’s educational needs, find professionals in the disciplines in which your child has an actual or suspected disability, and determine what components would create an appropriate program for your child. Then we make sure you get that program.
• Section 504 Plans and Litigation: Section 504 plans (part of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973) offer eligible students in public or federally funded schools educational accommodations to ensure they receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). To qualify for a Section 504 plan, a student must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
• Mediation: Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler attorneys are dedicated to working cooperatively with your child’s school district to create appropriate programs for students. In mediation, we represent you throughout the process, from requesting the mediation itself to drafting a written agreement with the district.
• Due process: Due process is a special kind of litigation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA). If a dispute arises concerning the evaluation, classification, program or placement of a student, our special education law firm can bring an action in the form of a due process petition. While we hope to resolve your case with a settlement in your favor, we’re prepared from day one to fight for your child’s rights in court when necessary.
• Guardianship: Turning 18 means the same thing for a developmentally disabled child as it does a typically-developing child — all the rights and responsibilities of becoming an adult are present, from opening bank accounts and obtaining post-secondary education to obeying laws and getting a job. We can help you seek the right to remain your child’s legal guardian and retain decision-making authority.
• Special needs trusts: Special needs trusts allow your child to receive gifts, settlements, and other funds and funding without forfeiting eligibility for certain government programs. Our attorneys create these trusts to ensure that your child has the money to cover services and products that are not covered by public funding.
For more than 40 years, Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler has helped parents of special needs children manage their frustrations with school districts, obtain guardianship over adult children and protect their families. If you need assistance, contact us today to discuss your child’s special education needs. We would be happy to answer your questions over the phone at 609.409.3500 or see you for an initial consultation in the comfort of our office, designed to put you and your child at ease.
Staci J. Greenwald, Esq. is eminently qualified to advocate on behalf of her clients in forums ranging from the Office of Administrative Law to the federal courts.