Category Archives: Autism

New Laws that Impact Special Education

Specific Learning Disability: Dyslexia. This section defines dyslexia and provides that it is one of the several disorders included as a specific learning disability. This statute requires that ¬†students suspected of having dyslexia or who have been identified as dyslexic … Continue reading

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Special Education: Tips for a Good Start to the School Year

Schedule a meeting within 30 days of the start of school to check in with the team. (Brief-less than one hour if things seem to be on track) Prepare a proposed Agenda prior to the meeting and circulate it to … Continue reading

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Summer

For many families, summer is the time to double up on therapies and “catch-up” in preparation for the next school year. I am certainly reluctant to add to the parent “to-do” list, however, as a special¬† needs attorney, I suggest … Continue reading

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Advocating for your Child with Autism: Perspectives from 20 Years of Practice

This year will mark my 20th year of practice in the special education area. The preschool age students I represented years ago, to secure evidence based interventions, are now young adults entering the adult disability system. The numbers continue to … Continue reading

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IEP Warrior

Getting What You Want: Strategies that Work I have been an attorney for 30 years and have been a special education attorney for 18 years. While my goal is to work to resolve issues without going to court or a … Continue reading

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Transition Planning for Students with Mental Health Issues

Transition services must begin at age 14.5 in Illinois. Transition planning is an integral part of the student’s IEP. The IEP team develops the transition plan. Student must participate and be invited to any transition planning meeting. The IEP team … Continue reading

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Starting the School Year off Right

Ten Ideas for Making a Successful Start: For students with complicated needs, or in transition (e.g. new school), agree to meet a month after school starts to assess how things are going. This should be a short meeting of less … Continue reading

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Mediation in Special Education

Recently, I was asked to do an in-service for the mediators who are appointed by the Illinois State Board of Education. My co-presenter was a well known school district attorney. The purpose of the training was to discuss suggestions and … Continue reading

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Private Placements

The Fourth of July is over and summer always seems to move into fast forward. There is little down time despite school being out of session. Unfortunately the issues of children and teenagers with disabilities aren’t confined to the nine … Continue reading

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School Administrators Propose Change to Due Process System: Interesting IDEA?

Recently the American Association of School Administrators proposed a drastic change in the system known as “Due Process Hearings”. The change suggested would follow a model already underway on a voluntary basis in Massachusetts and would involve a “consultant IEP” … Continue reading

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