“Every child has a different learning style and pace. Each child is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding.”- Robert John Meehan.

In this episode, Maria McGinley, a special education lawyer, shares her journey from being a classroom teacher to becoming a lawyer in the special education field. She explains how she saw the need for better support and advocacy for students with special needs and decided to make that transition. Maria discusses the role of a special education lawyer in providing guidance, counsel, and support to families navigating the special education process. She discussed the importance of finding solutions without always resorting to due process and emphasized the need for appropriate programming for children with different needs. 

Discover the importance of supporting students with special needs and the role of a special education lawyer in advocating for their rights. Tune in now to gain valuable insights and understanding. 

Highlights and Resources:

  • Maria's motivation for pursuing education and her transition to becoming a special education lawyer
  • Maria's years of teaching experience in the classroom
  • Explanation of what a special education lawyer does and reasons for hiring one
  • Dyslexia's inclusion in the IEP and the lawyer's role in ensuring proper services for the family
  • Discussion of IDEA-related rights and entitlements for students with disabilities
  • Parents who might feel intimidated or hesitant during IEP meetings
  • The fundamental right to a free appropriate public education
  • Tips and strategies for successful IEP meetings

About Maria McGinley

Maria C. McGinley received her J.D. from New York Law School, her Master's degree from Fordham University Graduate School of Education, and her Bachelor's degree from New York University.

Maria has been in the special education field for nearly two decades. Maria was a New York City Department of Education Special Education teacher in her prior career. Initially hired as an “ABA teacher” providing individual pull-out ABA sessions for young children with autism in District 75 special education school, she taught in multiple 6:1:1 District 75 classes and 15:1 high school classes. Maria also provided early intervention services through a private agency. Maria loved being a teacher but recognized that many NYC students needed to receive appropriate services and support to meet their individual needs. Maria's experience as an educator is an invaluable benefit to her clients.

Maria has been in the special education law sector since 2009. She has represented hundreds of families and has an excellent track record at the administrative and federal levels. Having family members with autism and ADHD, Maria truly understands families' struggles when their children are not getting the education they need. Maria's vast and successful experience as a special education teacher and a special education attorney is an asset that clients want and need.

Maria has authored many articles on various special education topics and regularly presents at local, national, and international conferences and continuing legal education seminars. The media has also interviewed Maria regarding special education and safety issues. Maria is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the N.J. Chapter of Autism Speaks and sits on the Development Board of QSAC (Quality Services for the Autism Community).

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