Young Lawyers group offers workshop on legal rights of autistic children

The SE Texas Record Jan. 13, 2010, 12:33pm

By Bonnie Dean
Special to the Southeast Texas Record

The Jefferson County Young Lawyers Association will host a free legal workshop for parents of autistic and special needs children.

The workshop will be held 3-5 p.m. Jan. 21 at The Shorkey Center, 855 S. Eighth St. in Beaumont.

Sponsored by a grant from the Texas Young Lawyers Association, the seminar will help parents of autistic and special needs children understand their role and responsibility in the public school system as it relates to their child's education.

The program presenter will be Galveston attorney Dorene Philpot, who represents children with special needs and their parents in Indiana and Texas. She will discuss the basic principles of special education law, including the basic rights of special needs children and how to properly advocate for those rights.

The session will last approximately one hour and Philpot will be available afterwards for a question-and-answer session. Free babysitting services will be provided.

Statistics show autism on the rise and proper educational programs expensive for public schools, so parents may find themselves in a legal battle with districts to ensure their children receive a "free and appropriate" education as guaranteed by law.

Those who are interested in attending the seminar should contact the Shorkey Center at (409) 838-6568.

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