Parents of children in special education are still able to register for free advice from field experts gathered at Texas A&M University–Central Texas.

The Luke McGrew Special Education Seminar, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 19 at A&M Central-Texas. The inaugural event is geared toward parents and guardians of special needs children, according to Natalie McGrew, who said the seminar was named after her son with autism.

McGrew said about 27 people have registered so far for the event, and welcomes more people to RSVP.

The first 50 registered attendees will receive a complimentary review. Additional reviews will become available the day of, and will be on a first come, first serve basis.

“Our family had such a hard time whenever we first moved here,” McGrew said. “This is our way of trying to give back.”

McGrew and her husband, Tim, contacted the Texas Education Agency April 2017 requesting a special education due process hearing against the Killeen Independent School District.

KISD denied their son his right to certain special education services, a TEA hearing officer found. KISD was ordered to reimburse the McGrews for their son’s tuition at a private school, attorney fees and other expenses. As of the lawsuit’s filing date, Aug. 14, 2017, attorney fees amounted to more than $140,000.

The seminar is designed to help educate and empower families to ensure the best possible special education for children, according to the event’s website.

Speakers will touch on topics that revolve around the TEA, Q&A sessions, preparation for independent education plans (IEP) and more.

Registration is recommended, McGrew said, in order for event organizers to get an accurate count for complimentary lunches and IEP reviews.

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