Eligible for Services? First “Yes,” then “No.” I’m Confused

The evaluation report from our school says my 3 year old (with high functioning autism) is not eligible for services when he transitions from Early Intervention. The evaluation report says “no delay or disability” – “not eligible”. Then, a copy of the “not eligible” report came with a letter saying our son was eligible for services and invited us to an IEP Meeting. Why did they plan a meeting if he isn’t eligible? Transitioning out …Read more

Medicaid Coverage: Feds Clarify Obligations To Kids With Autism

Melanie Feazell works with Declan Byrne during an ABA session. Federal officials say states must provide treatment services like ABA for kids with autism on Medicaid. (Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/MCT)   “Medicaid programs nationwide must offer medically necessary diagnostic and treatment services to kids with autism, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told states in a bulletin earlier this month. (From Disability Scoop, July 17, 2014). That includes everything from speech and occupational therapy to …Read more

The Root of the Problem? Rock-Bottom Reading Skills!

– by guest blogger Kalman R. Hettleman, former member of the Baltimore school board, former state human resources secretary, and tireless advocate for children with disabilities. “Disabled students aren’t as disabled as you think. It is legally and morally wrong for the learning potential of students with disabilities to be underestimated. How can students with disabilities be expected to meet the same high standards as their non-disabled peers? Well, not all can, but many more …Read more

School Removes “Primary Diagnosis” from IEP – What Happens Now?

My child entered special ed with autism / ADHD classifications.  Now the school wants to remove the primary diagnosis of autism from the IEP – to focus on the ADHD.  Why? If there is documentation from your doctors that your child has autism along with the ADHD, it should not be ignored. What documentation or data does the school have to justify this decision? Is your child’s autism no longer impacting his ability to learn? …Read more

Do You Work or Reside in the State of New York?

This one-day Wrightslaw Special Education Workshop on October 18, 2013 is  designed to meet the needs of parents and professionals serving children and teens with disabilities. The program is specific to Federal and New York Special Ed Laws relating to dyslexia and autism. Attendance is limited to those who work or reside in New York. Join Pete Wright, Esq., and co-sponsors, Long Island Dyslexia Association and Eden II Programs at the Touro Law Center in …Read more

Walk-In Registration Available for this West Coast Wrightslaw Conference – Destination…San Diego

Waited until the last minute to register? Walk-In Registration is available for you. The University of San Diego Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice is the setting for this Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Conference. Join Pete Wright, Esq. and sponsors, the Dyslexia Training Institute for this special event specific to dyslexia. Registration fee includes Continental Breakfast, plated lunch and three Wrightslaw books. 6 CLEs (continuing legal education) credits and graduate extension credit …Read more

Reading Comprehension Programs and Assessments

My son has high functioning autism.  He is a middle schooler, reading 2 years below grade level. He has difficulty in comprehension and inferencing, but not decoding.  The school uses the Jamestown Reading Navigator.  Is this an effective program? This is a link to the Jamestown Reading Navigator and to the program overview.   http://www.readingnavigator.com/mkt/jumper.html The research studies are here:   http://www.readingnavigator.com/mkt/po.html The most research-based and proven reading comprehension program on the planet is only useful when …Read more

Learn How to Control the Outcome of a State Complaint

I filed a complaint with my state department of education. The school claimed that the Behavior Intervention Plan was not valid because they had not attached the BIP to my son’s IEP. The DOE found “no violation” because the BIP was not “attached to” or mentioned in the IEP. Questions: To be valid, does the law require the school to attach the BIP to the IEP? If the answer is “yes,” isn’t the IEP team …Read more

Equal Time for PE: 1 x 30 = 3 x 45. Can You Do the Math?

Although our son is blind and autistic, physically he is able and he is compliant. The school agreed to APE on his IEP – but only 30 minutes a week. The general ed kids get three 45 minutes sessions of PE a week. Shouldn’t he get the same amount as the gen ed kids? I’m curious why the school would think 30 minutes of PE a week for a child with disabilities equates with 45 …Read more

New! Parent Resources: Reports & Regulations

Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies (2011) from the Office of Safe and Healthy Students (formerly OSDFS) This report reviews states’ bullying laws and model bullying policies and school districts’ bullying policies. As of April 2011, 46 states had bullying laws, 45 of which directed school districts to adopt bullying policies. Forty-one states had model bullying policies. Thirty-six states included provisions in their education codes prohibiting cyberbullying or bullying using electronic media. Thirteen states …Read more