Evaluating a Child for Disability: The Wrong Way and the Right Way

Teacher - Legal Evaluations

Determining whether a child is eligible for special education is the first critical stage in the process.  Unfortunately, many parents don’t understand the evaluation process or their child’s rights under the laws.  This often creates confusion, especially when the school presents an inaccurate scenario for assessing your child. A Special-Ism reader presented the following (not […]

NJ Gov. Chris Christie is Dyslexics’ Hero?


As of August 2013, the State of New Jersey has taken two giant steps forward in special education law thanks to its legislature and Governor Chris Christie. New Jersey’s special education regulations now officially define “Dyslexia” as a disability (Assembly Bill 3608) and school districts must now provide professional development opportunities for dyslexia and reading […]

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Learning Disabilities and Qualifying for Special Ed Services

learning disabilities and IEP

For many of us, summer vacation is a welcome break from the craziness of the school year.  No homework battles, rigid schedules or projects covering the dining room table.  However, it can also be a great time to reflect on how your child is progressing in school and to ask yourself some important questions about […]

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Looking Forward in 2013 and Beyond – 5 Support Systems to Help You


As we move into 2013, it’s a good time to look forward into our children’s futures beyond young childhood. Although many of us are in the trenches of IEP meetings, triennials and advocacy for additional support or therapy for our young children, it is important to begin thinking about starting a file or binder with […]

How Does Your Child Get Educated When Your Home is Gone?


If your family is displaced due to a natural disaster, does that mean that your child will need to miss out on school for a significant amount of time?  Probably not.  Here’s the law on education and temporary homelessness. Is there a specific law that covers education and temporary living situations? Yes, the McKinney-Vento Homeless […]

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5 Mistakes You Are Making at the IEP Table


You’ve got your binder full of documentation.  You’ve promised yourself that you’re going to stay calm and focused.  You’ve even made a mental note to start the meeting by saying a heart-felt “thank you” to everyone in the room for working with your child.  That’s a great start!  But, there are five mistakes that most […]

IEPs and Evidence!


Your school violated your child’s rights and you complain.  Wake up.  Nobody cares.  Your child’s rights were violated and you have….evidence!  Now, it’s a whole different shootin’ match. What Exactly is Evidence? There’s a very technical legal answer to this which I learned in law school.  That was a waste of a few thousand brain […]

The Journey of Acceptance and Self-Advocacy


I have always known I was different from others; ever since I was a little girl I knew that I had special needs. I knew that I went to therapy, I knew that I had a special education teacher at school who helped me, and I knew that some things were harder for me than […]

And the Truth is Somewhere in Between…ADHD and Special Education


Children’s Medical Conditions and Special Education written by Michele Hancock addressed whether children with ADHD and other medical conditions qualify for special education. Dennise Goldberg published, Students with ADHD can be Eligible for an IEP at the Special Education Advisor in response to Michele’s article. We asked our own special education attorney, Katie Kelly, Ph.D., […]

Special Ed Attorneys, Part III: What Do They Really Do?


This is Part III in a series concerning hiring a special education attorney.  Part I outlined when you probably need a lawyer; Part II gave pointers on what to look for when you invest in a special ed attorney.  In this final installment, we’ll look at what exactly your lawyer will do for you, and […]

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