Special Education Advocacy & Mediation

Removing Barriers to Education in Today's World


Our Fees

  • Initial Free-30 minutes Consultation
  • Our hourly rate is $85  (Minimum of 6 hours )

NoteSOS Ayuda Legal will have no obligation to hold a family on a waiting list.  The services will start when the client signs the agreed-upon HIPAA advocacy package.  By law, we can not review or talk about your child's IEP, without your written authorization.



We have been making a difference through education advocacy:  We have been helping parents across the state, like you, navigate the school system, negotiate IEP & 504 Plan intervention, and consult in complex casework, including behavior and Gifted Education, since 1988.  My  “insider's perspective” experience is,  as an experienced educator;  special education teacher, challenging behaviors specialist, ABA parent consultant for juvenile services,  social service supervisor,  court mediator, paralegal, and parent.  We have walked in the very same shoes as most of the team members across the table.  As a result, the advocacy services we provided are founded upon a deep understanding of the processes, behavior, child development, instruction, and ideally, a collaborative framework rather than conflict and adversarial relations.  After doing this work for over 30 years, we have learned it’s best to navigate this path with as little residue as possible and do everything to support you through partnership.   

                              Your Child Educational Progress is Our Mission Statement.

 We can assist you to successfully navigate your way through every stage of the special education and accommodations process from early intervention to high school, and then as young adults from college through graduate school seeking higher education accommodations.


In cooperation with our sister company, Yo Domino Mi IEP, we are committed to delivering support to parents through effective advocacy and coaching so you can attend IEP and 504 Plan meetings with extensive knowledge and understanding of the IEP's process, its timelines, and the laws.

We understand that every child and situation is unique.  We are here to support families of children with disabilities in our community, especially during times of uncertainty.

Contact us today even if your IEP's meeting is tomorrow.........

How Do I Know If I Need An Advocate?

  • Maybe your child has an IEP, but not the right services. Specially during COVID-19

  • Perhaps your child has an IEP but it’s not meeting his/her needs. As there was a regression during the school's closing

  • Or the school is telling you that your child isn’t eligible for special education and you don’t know what to do next.

  • I have a request for my child’s educational goals, that I consider more relevant . I want an IEP's meeting .

  • Some of my IEP’s child related services need to be adapted to CODIV-19 reality

  • You might also just be confused or need help with the process in general—that’s OK.

The important thing is to have a clear idea of why you need an advocate. If you believe that your concern is valid and necessary, please contact us for a free consultation.



Disability Rights California- All publications 
Disability Rights California- Special Education Rights and Responsibilities (SERR)
Disability Right California SERR Above is a list from Disability Rights California (SEER) & DRC

Disability Rights and Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)- A Guide for California Parents: Special Education Due Process and the Resolution Meeting
LAUSD Division of Special Education- IEP Goals and Objectives
DREDF- Sample Letter for Referral for Special Education
DREDF- Sample Letter for Request for Records
DREDF- Sample Letter to Request Assistive Technology
DREDF- Sample Letter to Request for Further Assessment for a Child Who Already Has an IEP
Office of Administrative Hearings- Searchable Special Education Decisions and Orders
Office of Administrative Hearings- Low-Cost Attorneys
​Office of Administrative Hearings- Special Education Handbook
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA)
Wrighslaw- Parent recourse for special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities
California Department of Education- Laws, Regulations &Policiess
Disability Rights California- Transition Services for Students

                                     How do we advocate for your child? By…

  • Representing the best interests of the student in the educational process.

  • Solidifying our working-knowledge of State and Federal laws pertaining to children with special needs. Therefore, we can inform parent/guardians of their rights. If need arises, we will research a specific legal issue or case that is pertinent to a child’s education program.

  • Suggesting appropriate services, programs and accommodations/modifications to meet the student’s individual needs.

  • Providing classroom observation reports.

  • Interpreting the meaning of assessments and reports to parents, and explaining their significance to the child’s educational needs.

  • Training parents how to put requests in writing.

  • Preparing parents for the IEP/504 meeting. This could include interpreting and prioritizing support materials, proposing goals and objectives, and providing/rehearsing strategies for the meeting.

  • Reviewing all special education documents, including files, assessments, report cards, observation reports, etc. prior to IEP/504.

  • Accompanying parents to IEP, 504, and any other relevant school meetings to provide advice and assistance.

  • Tracking to ensure that the interpretation and translations services are being provided according to Federal and State laws.

  • Reviewing with parents IEP documents before you sign them, to be sure they are within the IDEA, FAPE, SELPA and ADA guidelines.

  • Drafting letters, responses, complaints and written requests to school and district officials.

  • Empowering and educating families (parents and students!) to strengthen their own advocacy skills.

  • Training (hands-on) parents on Yo Domino Mi-IEP Plan. This plan will line up all the areas where your child needs support, as well as those where he/she had success.

  • If you are ready to take your case to due process, a SOS Ayuda Legal’s advocate can help advise you on the strength of your case and make referrals to local special education attorneys that we highly recommend.

SOS Ayuda Legal Training Series for Parents

With the sponsorship from our collaborators, SOS Ayuda Legal  Training Series provides affordable or free training sessions to parents and guardians regarding the IEP process, benchmark goals discussion, assessments, related services, special education service options, etc. The main goal is to give parents and guardians the knowledge, skills, and understanding of the special education system, their rights, and their responsibilities.

We will collaborate with our sister company Yo Domino Mi-IEP  ,  Regional CentersDepartment of Developmental Services (DDS), and other public and private organizations to deliver training sessions via webinars, Goggle Meet & Zoom’s meetings, podcasts, blog posts, YouTube videos, etc., with the main two purposes:  a)  to walk parents thru the step by step IEP's process and b)  to keep parents up-to-date on current trends, educational and law’s updates at Federal, State and County level.

Please click here to sign-up for SOS Ayuda Legal's Training Series.

Remember, We are here for you.

Special Education Advocacy: How Do I Get Started?


  • 1

    After our 30 minutes free Q & A, if our advocacy services are right for your child, the intake process start. We will put together an advocay package base on the case's needs.

  • 2

    Fill out the Client Intake Form

  • 3

    Our team will assess the needs of your child. If additional documentation, such old IEPs, assessment results, progress reports, letter from District, Report cards, Tri-Annual Evaluations, etc. are needed, we will contact you.

  • 4

    After reviewing these documents, we will start to training you on the IEP’s process, in collaboration with Yo Domino Mi IEP, and create a timeline plan, of the process for your child's IEP.

  • 5

    We will walk you thru the IEP'd process, it discovery and findings, one step at a time.

Client Intake Form

    *Indicates Required Field


    How did you hear about us?

    If you selected "Referral Person" or "Other" for how you heard about us, please give us more details below:

    Child Information:

    Does your child currently receive special education services?

    We will do our best to accommodate to your schedule/availability
    What is the best day(s) to contact you?*
    What is the best time(s) to contact you?*

    What Our Clients Are Saying

    "Ms. Maria Ruiz-Merroth was a key factor in the success my son has shown through the years.  She was able to share her knowledge in Special Education topics with us, and with her guidance execute strategies that have allowed my son to succeed at school.  To put this in practical terms, when we started working with Ms. Ruiz-Merroth my son was in an Autism specific preschool program and now he is about to start High School in a regular education setting for 100% of the time and with an IEP that includes only two reading/comprehension goals.  The journey is not an easy one, it takes a lot of effort, but you need a knowledgeable person to show you where you are aiming to and strategize how to get there; this is what Ms. Maria has been for us."

    Omar G.

    Ladera Ranch, CA

    "Ms. Ruiz is an “excellent” advocate in special education. She was very helpful for me. As a parent, she transmitted her confidence and empowerment to me. She is very passionate and has a lot of experience in this area. Thank you!"

    Evelyn R.

    La Palma, CA

    How to Contact Us


                   Hablamos Español 

                                 PHONE:                               (949) 326- 6612



    600 W Santa Ana Blvd, Suite 206,    Santa Ana, CA 92701

    Across from The Federal Building 

    Monday - Friday: 9 AM-5 PM Saturday: Pre-Pay appointment ONLY

    Sunday: Closed


    Forms of Payments



    SOS Ayuda Legal is ready to assist you, per your request, with the preparation of your legal documents. Give us a call at (949) 326-6612 or submit the contact form.

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