Sexton & Company advocates for children and their families to obtain the services they need to overcome disability and excel in our public education system. Our team includes members who are themselves parents of children with special needs, and we understand first hand the daunting task faced by families who attempt to secure their children's rights. We know the struggles too many families face in procuring the services their children need to thrive, and we are committed to ensuring each student receives the unique tools needed to maximize his or her potential in and out of the classroom.
We can assist children with all disabilities, including autism, speech and language delays, attention deficit disorder, intellectual disability, visual and auditory impairments, deafness, traumatic brain injury, emotional disturbance, physical disabilities, and other orthopedic or health impairments. Whether pursuing specific services for a child at a PPT or due process hearing under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or advocating for accommodations needed to facilitate meaningful participation in extracurricular activities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, we have the experience and versatility to help children prevail in any forum.
In addition, we also can assist children in disciplinary actions for misconduct that stems from their disability, as well as children who have been harassed or bullied. All too often, the impulsivity, frustration, and communication difficulties inherent in so many disabilities lead to inappropriate behavior patterns that single the child out for discipline from their teachers and harassment from their peers. Predictably, those responses by teachers and classmates only result in further frustration by the student and an increase in problematic behavior. Families often find themselves exposed to manifestation hearings and even expulsion hearings for conduct that is directly related to their child’s disability and was inappropriately managed by the school in the first place. In addition to our special education background, our team brings with it an uncommon breadth of experience with juvenile matters, including in delinquency and child protection matters, which enables it to navigate disciplinary proceedings confidently and obtain favorable outcomes for our clients.
One benefit of also being an appellate firm is that our work on disability and juvenile related appeals before Connecticut’s Supreme and Appellate Courts provides us with unique and up to the moment insights into the development of special education and disability law both in Connecticut and across the country. Whether representing a national organization for people with intellectual disabilities in a challenge to limits on special education funding or representing an intellectually disabled parent in her claim that the ADA should apply to termination of parental rights proceedings, our appellate work not only provides us with knowledge of how special education and disability law is developing in the courts and the legislature, but in some cases gives us a chance to shape that law. Similarly, our appellate work provides us with a crucial understanding of Connecticut's unique legal history, including, for example, its increased equal protection rights for the disabled under the 1965 amendments to the Connecticut Constitution, which afford greater protections than are offered under the federal constitution and are too often overlooked in the special education context. These advantages prove invaluable in convincing school districts to agree to support the needs of our clients and to rethink what are all too often draconian disciplinary actions.