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My rights to my special education 18 year old son as a parent

Brooklyn, NY |

Does my son have the right to discharge himself without my or his father's signature/consent? Is there any legal way I can force him to go to school and keep him in special education at the same time? Or at least force him go to school? He has moved out and doesn't want to contact me.

He has aspergers.

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Attorney answers 2


If you believe he requires a guardian, you may petition the court to have yourself or someone else so appointed. Please note that the situation you've sparsely described above is not a simple one, and it cannot be adequately addressed in an online forum. I strongly recommend you consult with a local attorney to review all the parties rights, options and obligations before you take any further action. You can find attorneys in your area by searching among the profiles here on AVVO. Good luck!

Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: All of Ms. Brown’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.


Generally speaking, New York State's compulsory education law mandates full time instruction for minors ages 6 through 16. There are several exceptions to this rule, however, that take into consideration various factors such as whether the child is employed or whether the child has already obtained a high school diploma.

In New York City, according to the Chancellor's Regulations, special education students who are 17 years of age cannot be discharged without parental consent. However, if the student is 18 years old, does not have an appointed guardian, and voluntarily withdraws from school, this is generally permissible.

As far as getting an answer to the question you pose above, you should consult with an attorney and bring with you your child's medical documents, education documents, and any other documents you believe may be relevant. An attorney can then conduct thorough research to help you answer the legal questions you pose above.

If your child was getting special education services, he will likely be entitled to continue receiving such services in a New York public high school until he reaches the age of 21, so it would be worthwhile for you to try to encourage your child to return to school.

This information is intended for educational purposes and does not establish a client-attorney relationship. A client-attorney relationship is not formed until the signing of a written retainer agreement by both the client and the attorney.

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