Accessing support at school is not always easy.
A professional who understands the process can help.
Attorney Wendy Pizer counsels families in Arlington, Northern Virginia, and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, as they navigate the complex world of special education. When a student with a disability struggles at school, it can be difficult for parents to know what to do. As an experienced lawyer with a focus in special education law, Wendy works with families to understand the student’s unique strengths and needs, identify solutions and advocate for appropriate services and accommodations.
Wendy assists families with:
Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
IEPs provide specially designed instruction to meet the unique educational needs of students with disabilities. Wendy assists families when challenges arise in eligibility determinations, plan development, placement or compliance.
Services for Twice Exceptional Learners (2E)
Students with disabilities can be eligible for special education and gifted services at the same time. Wendy strives to ensure that 2E learners’ disability-related needs are met in a setting that provides appropriately challenging academic content.
Section 504 Plans and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accommodations
504 plans and ADA accommodations remove barriers so students can access the curriculum, school environment and school activities. Wendy assists families when challenges arise in eligibility determinations, plan development or compliance.
Individual Health Care Plans
Students with health conditions require specific written plans to detail how the condition should be managed at school. Wendy has experience with a wide range of health conditions and can help families develop appropriate plans.
Discrimination against students with disabilities can take many forms. Wendy can help families understand their rights and respond when difficult situations arise at school, such as bullying, harassment, restraint or seclusion.
When a school subjects a student with a disability to discipline, additional legal protections may apply. Wendy represents students with disabilities in school disciplinary meetings, hearings, appeals and manifestation determination reviews.
Legal and Strategic Advice
Wendy counsels her clients about their rights under laws protecting students with disabilities. Utilizing her experience in effective advocacy within school divisions, she also provides her clients with strategic advice tailored to their goals.
Analysis of School Plans
Wendy carefully analyzes each student’s existing or proposed IEP, 504 or health plan to identify needed areas of improvement.
Review of School Records
Wendy can help families obtain school records and request corrections if records are not accurate. She closely reviews school records to assess a student’s needs and to evaluate progress.
Problem-Solving and Dispute Resolution
Wendy makes every effort to resolve matters in a collaborative fashion with a school division. When that is not possible, dispute resolution options will be discussed and a plan will be developed. Dispute resolution may involve complaints to federal or state authorities, mediation, administrative hearings or court proceedings.
Advocacy at School Meetings
Wendy works closely with parents to ensure they are well prepared for school meetings. She attends meetings along with parents to advocate directly for the services and supports that students need. Following meetings, she helps parents review ensuing documentation for accuracy.
Depending on the circumstances, Wendy can communicate with school division personnel or legal counsel directly, or she can advise parents on effective and constructive school communications.
Parents are the experts on their child. Wendy enjoys working with parents to explain the special education process so they can utilize their expertise for the benefit of their child. With this knowledge, parents are better equipped to advocate for their child’s individualized needs and make informed decisions about their child’s education.
An Experienced Special Education Advocate
for Students with Disabilities
Wendy Pizer is a lawyer who primarily represents families with students with disabilities who attend public K-12 schools in Virginia. While she is based in Arlington and mainly works in Northern Virginia, she is able to represent families in other parts of the Commonwealth, with the ability to attend school meetings virtually.
Wendy represents students with a variety of disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), emotional disabilities and specific learning disabilities in reading and writing, such as dyslexia and dysgraphia.
She is experienced with a wide range of student needs ranging from medical and mental health conditions to learning and behavioral challenges. She also has an active pro bono practice, typically working in partnership with public interest organizations.
An attorney-client relationship is not created by visiting or obtaining information from this site, contacting Pizer Law PLLC, or requesting a consultation. Please do not send confidential documents or information. An attorney-client relationship is not established unless and until an engagement agreement is executed between you and Pizer Law PLLC.