Information about my law practice concentrating on advocacy for people with disabilities, seniors and their families. Get to know me not only as a lawyer, but my personal interests, passions and family activities.
Disability law maven and IDEA expert Mark Weber has just posted this paper on SSRN: Mark C. Weber, All Areas of Suspected Disability, Loyola L. Rev. (forthcoming). The abstract:
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires school
districts to assess children “in all areas of suspected disability.” It
further provides that each child’s individualized education program
(IEP) must contain measurable annual goals designed to “meet each of the
child’s...educational needs that result from the child’s disability,”
and a statement of special education and related services that will be
provided for the child “to advance appropriately toward attaining annual
Your input is invaluable. You are an
essential part of the IEP team. The law is very clear about your right to
participate as part of the team developing your child's IEP.
Should the IEP include ALL the
services my child needs?
issue of the Special Ed Advocate you
can use Wrightslaw's new IEP Pop-up to answer questions about how you
and the IEP team determine the services & accommodations your child needs.
Please don't hesitate to forward this series to other
friends, families, or colleagues.
If your child's IEP fails to
include accurate information about Present Levels of Academic
Achievement and Functional Performance, the IEP is defective. It has no foundation.
say they don't need to include Functional Performance Levels because they
aren't related to academics. Not so!
this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, you will learn the
requirements for Present Levels in IEPs. Find out how Present Levels are used
to develop measurable goals to meet your child's unique needs and to get an
appropriate program and placement.
Please don't hesitate to forward this series to other friends,
families, or colleagues.
The day I finally got an Individualized Education Program (IEP),
I was in my junior year of high school. Now, I understand that when
people think of a student who has an IEP, they usually think of a young
child in elementary school. Unfortunately, for me, that wasn’t the case.
For many years, my family and I tried to figure out my diagnosis and get me an IEP,
but this process took longer than anyone could have imagined. After
many visits to the neuropsychologist, I was finally diagnosed with
dyslexia, AD/HD and auditory processing disorder.
extraordinary feeling when you finally have a documented reason for some
of your past academic struggles and when you can tell everyone that
they were wrong when they said that you were “just being lazy.” Having
the diagnosis also made all of the evaluations, trips to the
neuropsychologists, and fights with the school district well worth it.
At this point, it didn’t matter to me and my family how long it took to
get my accommodations, what mattered was that I could finally use them.
Least restrictive environment, or LRE as it is more commonly called, is one of several vital components in the development of a child’s IEP and plays a critical role, influencing wherea child spends his or her time at school, how
services are provided, and the relationships the child develops within
the school and community. Indeed, LRE is a foundational element in
building an appropriate IEP that can improve outcomes for a child—in
school and in life.
An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is the first stop on the road
after determining your child’s eligibility under the IDEA 2004. That
road can be hard to navigate without guidance, so we've produced a
roadmap to guide you.
The thorough graphic gives a visual and easy-to-use overview of the IEP
process, from intervention and evaluation to classification and
planning accommodations. You'll see the different pathways you and your
child can take, including developing an IEP or 504 Plan.
Rendering effective mental health services to students in special
education who have ASDs and need mental health services in order to
benefit from their IEPs can be done cost-effectively. It requires that
the right combination of expertise and skill assembled for each
student’s treatment team. It also requires well-designed mental and
behavioral health treatment plans that include detailed descriptions of
how the skills taught in therapy will be generalized to natural settings
such as the classroom, playground, cafeteria, or school bus. The
treatment team would need to function like a well-oiled machine, each
complementing the work of the other.
The savings to society of doing it right would far exceed the costs
of delivering a successful program. More importantly, there are just
some aspects of independence upon which no dollar value can be placed.
To be supported in becoming as independent as possible by one’s fellow
citizens affords some of our most compromised citizens access to their
Constitutional liberties, and that’s something of which one can be proud
to be a part.
Some school districts and their counsel assert that, under the IDEA,
a change in location of service delivery is not a change in placement
if the IEP services remain the same. If the location change is not a
change in placement, the service location can be changed without parent
input or an IEP meeting. That may sometimes be the case, but there are
many instances in which IEP services may generally remain the same but a
change in location will affect the service delivery so that it is a
change in placement. For example, students with disabilities must attend the school they would attend if they did not have a disability, unless the IEP requires otherwise.
Thus, placing a student with a disability in a school they would not
attend if they did not have a disability is an IEP team decision and
changing a student’s placement to a school they would not attend if they
did not have a disability is an IEP team decision. Whether the change
in location is a change in placement turns on the facts of the specific