The Wrightslaw Way

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Action Alert Virginia! Your Help is Needed Today!

by Wrightslaw

Arc of VA photograph of Alex testifying for HB1443The Virginia General Assembly is addressing the use of restraint and seclusion of students.

Your action is needed today!

The Virginia Senate voted to regulate (SB782) the use of seclusion and restraint in public school children. The House of Delegates will now hear similar legislation (HB1443).

On Monday morning, February 2, 2015, the House Education Committee will consider HB1443.

Please contact your Delegate today and let them know why it is important they support HB1443.

Advocates like Alex (pictured by Arc of VA) have testified in support of HB1443. Now the House needs to hear your voice! [Read more →]

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Can I Insist on an Evidenced-Based Reading Program?

by Wrightslaw

Boy reading at schoolI have a quick reading question.

My 5 year old has Down syndrome.  I’ve read the research about an evidenced-based intervention program designed to teach reading and language skills to children with DS. I think it is the very best approach to teaching him to read.

How can I insist the school use this program? They are not using a research-based program now.

There are no “quick reading questions.”

Schools are notorious for their unwillingness to grant requests from parents. They don’t want to establish a precedent.

Appropriate – Not Best

You need to eliminate the word “best” from your vocabulary.

Your child is not entitled to the best education or the very best education. He is not entitled to an education that maximizes his potential.

He is entitled to an appropriate education. Nothing more.

Keep that in mind when you make requests. Appropriate. Not best. [Read more →]

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Down Syndrome Directions: New Research Plan Released

by Wrightslaw

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the release of Down Syndrome Directions: The National Institutes of Health Research Plan on Down Syndrome. (December 2014)

You will find the full plan at Down Syndrome Directions (PDF, 71 pages)

The revised plan is an updated strategy to advance research related to Down Syndrome and to meet new research goals and objectives. (The first research plan was released by NIH in 2007.) [Read more →]

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Pre-Registration Extended – Wrightslaw Training Coming to Pensacola, FL on January 24, 2015!

by Wrightslaw

Pre-Registration has been extended to Tuesday, January 20, 2015!

This January 24, 2015  Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Conference is being sponsored by Autism Pensacola, Inc. This organization is an association of parents, professionals and concerned community members dedicated to supporting, advocating, educating, networking and providing hope for people affected by autism and related disorders of communication and behavior along the Gulf Coast.

Conference fee includes light refreshments during morning and afternoon breaks, lunch and four Wrightslaw books. 7.0 CLE’s (continuing lega education) credits and 0.6 CEU’s (continuing education units) have been approved for this conference. On-site child care will be available. Available on a limited basis for ages 2-adult. Online registration for childcare is required by January 15, 2015. No drop-ins. For all conference details, please click here.

Click here to register NOW!

Download and share the conference flyer.

See you in Florida!

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School’s Conduct Is an “Attack Upon Child’s Dignity as a Human Being”

by Wrightslaw

Judge's gavel and law booksin  F.H. et. al. v. Memphis City Schools (2014), the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a precedential opinion that favors parental rights to seek relief for non-educational injuries and to enforce settlement agreements. 

– Hat tip to the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA)

F.H., endured physical and emotional abuse from aides who were not properly trained or supervised by the school district for ten years. In 2011, despite a Settlement Agreement, the abuse by F.H.’s aides continued.

When F.H.’s parents filed suit in federal court, the district court held that the parents were required to exhaust their administrative remedies before bringing suit – and dismissed their claims. The parents appealed.

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A School Nurse Does the Right Thing!

by Wrightslaw

From exceptional employee, excellent evaluations – to suddenly unsatisfactory performance.  What happened?

What caused this exceptional school nurse’s fall from grace?

Linda McGreevy advocated for kids with disabilities. She did the right thing!

On June 28, 2005, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that school administrators and the school district may be officially and individually liable for retaliating against a school nurse who advocated for kids with disabilities. [Read more →]

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Wrightslaw Law and Advocacy Training Coming to Lincroft, NJ!

by Wrightslaw

Resources 4 Children, LLC., welcomes you to New Jersey!

On February 19, 2015, Pete Wright, Esq., will present a one-day Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training in Lincroft, NJ. The conference will take place in the Warner Student Life Center at Brookdale Community College.

Registration includes Continental Breakfast, lunch and four Wrightslaw books. Early Bird Registration ends January 8, 2015!

Click here to register online. Download and share the conference flyer.

For all conference details, please click here.

See you in New Jersey!

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Wrightslaw From Emotions to Advocacy Training Coming to Corpus Christi, TX

by Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw From Emotions to Advocacy Conference, a Wrightslaw training program with Pat Howey, is being sponsored by Autism Spectrum Resource Center.

This  January 24, 2015 training will take place at the Bayview Behavioral Hospital, located at 6629 Woolridge Road, in Corpus Christi, TX.

You will learn:

  • how to assess your child’s strengths and needs
  • how to prepare a Parent Report for the IEP team
  • how to build healthy working relationships with school personnel
  • how to document information that may prevent or resolve disputes
  • how to participate as an equal member of your child’s IEP teamClick here to register online today! Registration fee includes Continental Breakfast, afternoon snack and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition. See you in Corpus Christi!
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How Do I “Fight” for My Son’s Needs?

by Wrightslaw

My 10-year-old has just been diagnosed as ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and Tourette’s Disorder. His doctor has recommended a parapro. Should we get an IEP or 504? I need to know how to proceed if I need to “fight” for this for my son.

Advocacy Advice from the Community Helpline -

From David…

If you haven’t already read Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, I highly recommend it.

I would never agree to a parent fighting the public school for their child’s education. You never hear of a fight where both participants win and a child’s education is a risky thing to put on the line.

My wife and I purchased the book mentioned above as well as The Special Education Law book.

We began learning how to advocate for our son when he was in middle school. He currently has a 3.87 GPA in college and is his own advocate these days. It is worthwhile to understand the difference between a 504 and an IEP and the book talks about the importance of SMART goals in an IEP.

From Sharon…

An evaluation should be done but I would not pay for an outside evaluation to start.

You should request an evaluation from the school & then sign the school’s consent form immediately. [Read more →]

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