AttorneyS at Law

Special Education & Child Advocacy


Planning for Families with Special Needs

Emerson Dickman is a special education attorney and child advocate located in Bergen County, New Jersey specializing in the representation of children with disabilities for over 40 years.

He is past-President of the International Dyslexia Association and was a founding member of the consensus committee gathered in 1992 to create the legal definition for dyslexia. He speaks about dyslexia on the national and international stage, promoting awareness and advocacy. He, along with his wife Georgette Dickman, won the Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Dyslexia Association in 2012. 

His four decades of experience in the education sphere gives him the depth of knowledge to support families to ensure their child's needs are being appropriately met by the programs and services provided in school. When in consult, he'll work with all stakeholders to gain an understanding of the child’s profile to identify what constitutes appropriate educational programming and placement. The process usually includes the following steps:

Step 1. An initial conference to:

  • gather anecdotal information,
  • review records,
  • arrive at consensus as to the child’s educational needs,
  • arrive at consensus as to the character of an appropriate educational program, and
  • develop an action plan.

Step 2. Assignment of responsibility for implementation of the action plan.

Step 3. Preparation of a detailed memorandum reflecting the information gathered and consensus reached during the initial conference.

Get in touch with us to set up a consultation, or use the contact form at the bottom of this page to enquire whether our services are right for you.




25 E. Spring Valley Avenue

Maywood, NJ 07607


(201) 909-0404

Areas of Practice

Special Needs Advocacy

For 40 years the office of Emerson Dickman has been representing families to advocate for the needs of their children. His team has consulted on well over 1,000 cases advising families, attorneys, nonprofit service providers, state agencies, and courts regarding protecting the interests of individuals with special needs to ensure that their unique and individual needs are being properly met and addressed.

Special Needs Planning

For 40 years the office of Emerson Dickman has been helping persons with special needs and their families respond to unique challenges. They aim to provide families with the confidence that their relative with special needs has a future that is not dependent on them and is, nevertheless, safe, comfortable, and happy. 

We specialize in Special Needs Trusts, Protective Arrangement Trusts, Medicaid Qualifying Trusts, Guardianship, developing networks of Human Resources, the value of Volunteerism, Duties of a Guardian, and personal stories that may be of interest.

Will & Trusts

Our Special Needs Estate Planning program addresses those unique considerations that must be incorporated into your Will and Trust to provide comfort and confidence that your family member with special needs will have a quality of life consistent with your wishes and desires; even after you are gone. As practitioners and consultants we can help ensure that your Will and Trust supports the survival of your values as well as protecting your assets and providing a foundation for future decision making.

Our Person Centered Planning concepts include features that are personal to your situation and are tailored to reflect a deep understanding of the abilities as well as the challenges of the individual with special needs.


Believe you can and you’re halfway there.
— Theodore Roosevelt


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