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Special Needs

Parents of special needs children are often in situations where they must challenge boundaries of the education options and social activities available to their child(ren). In these instances, parents may need to have more skills to cope with both their own family issues and with systems that pose problems for helping their children to thrive. School, hospitals, insurance companies, and the like, are often difficult to negotiate, and pose barriers for parents seeking to maximize the services available for their children.

Mediation is a collaborative, problem-solving approach for identifying and dealing with present and future issues and problems that are often present in family dynamics.

The more questions that need to be answered or the more problems that need to be resolved, the more mediation is the process of choice. The back-and-forth of institutional interactions or legal negotiations or even the imposition of judicial rulings, often do not provide the data or the forum for decision making. Essential ingredients may be missing, such as parental interactions with children, and with the organizations and services from whom their children receive or may receive services. When family obstacles arise and normal everyday life cannot proceed, mediation affords the setting to consider what decisions must be made that will be beneficiary for all family members.

What kind of questions should your mediation address? Consider just a few:

  • Will parents attend evaluative and other meetings together if one parent travels more or if one is less available?
  • How will information about the child’s progress (e.g., IEP, evaluative reports) be shared, and simultaneously, how will decisions resulting from those reports be made – for an advocate or a school aide?
  • Are any of these costs born by the state? Or, will they be in the future?

And, in the case of separation or divorce, there are additional questions to be addressed in mediation. For example:

  • Where will the child reside? (One home? Two homes?)
  • How is child support calculated for parents with special needs children?
  • Are there specific expenses required that need to be recognized in a certain way?
  • How will parents handle institutional involvement?

Free in-person or telephone consultations available

To schedule an appointment, please call 781-239-1600

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