The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
February 15, 2005

Issue - 298
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

Who is Eligible for Protections Under Section 504 - But Not Under IDEA?

Child with Brain Tumor Dismissed from Team - Parent Requests Advice on Filing Complaint

FAQs about Filing an OCR Complaint

Is it Legal to Send Special Ed Kids Home Early?

Wrightslaw Is Coming to OH, NY, IN, MO, AZ

Autism: The Hidden Epidemic?

Free Pub: Special Education for Children with Autism

Annual Conference: Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates (March 10-13)

Subscription & Contact Info

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At Wrightslaw, our goals are to help you gain the information and skills you need navigate the challenging, changing world of special education.

Highlights: Who is eligible for protections under Section 504; child with brain tumor dismissed from team - parent requests advice about filing a complaint; FAQs about filing an OCR complaint; is it legal to send special ed kids home early; Wrightslaw is coming to OH, NY, IN, MO & AZ; autism - the hidden epidemic; free pub about special education for children with autism; annual conference of the Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates. Download this newsletter.

Quote of the Week: "Morality cannot be legislated but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless." - Martin Luther King, civil rights activist

Wrightslaw is ranked #1 in education law, special education law, and special education advocacy. (2004 Alexa rankings)

1. Who is Eligible for Protections Under Section 504 - But Not Under IDEA?

"Who is protected under Section 504? A student with AIDS? A student with ADD? A student with asthma?"

What do you think? Which students are protected under Section 504? From your questions, we know that many people are confused about Section 504 - what the law is designed to do and for whom.

For the answers to the questions above, you'll have to read Who is Eligible for Protections Under Section 504 - But Not Under IDEA?

2. My Child with Health Problems Dismissed from the Team - How Can I File a Complaint?

"My child has chronic health problems. He wants to attend school but is sometimes absent for medical treatments. He was dismissed as manager of a sports team. He is devastated. I am angry. How should I handle this? I want to file a complaint."

"He is devastated. This was one of the only ways he could socialize with other students since he has so many medical appointments during the day. I want to file a Section 504 complaint. How should I handle this incident?"

In My Child with a Brain Tumor was Dismissed from the Team - How Can I File a Complaint? Sue Heath offers a plan to deal with the immediate crisis -- and a creative strategy that parents can use to get appropriate 504 Plans -- and ensure that the school actually implements the plan.

Doing Your Homework by Sue Heath is a column about creative advocacy strategies.

As the co-author of Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind, Sue provides training and seminars on No Child Left Behind. Learn more

3. Questions & Answers About Filing a Complaint with OCR

If you decide to file a complaint, you need to learn the rules - and how you can increase the likelihood that your complaint will have a positive outcome.

In Questions & Answers About Filing an OCR Complaint, you'll learn the nuts & bolts of OCR complaints - how to file, where to file, when to file, what to expect, how OCR handles complaints, and more.

4. Is it Legal to Send Special Ed Kids Home Early?

"In my district, special ed kids are sent home from school early - 30 minutes to an hour earlier than 'regular ed' students. When I asked about this, I was told, 'All special ed students are released early. That's the rule.' Is this legal?"

No! Surprisingly, parents and teachers continue to send questions about schools that have one set of rules for "special ed kids" and a different set of rules for everyone else.

In Is it Legal to Send Special Ed Kids Home Early, we answer these questions and tell you how a small but determined group of parents resolved these problems -- and got a full day of education for their disabled children.

Learn more about Discrimination

5. Coming Soon! Wrightslaw Programs in Ohio, New York, Indiana, Missouri, Arizona

Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training Programs focus on four areas: special education laws, rights & responsibilities; how to use the bell curve to measure educational progress & regression; SMART IEPs; and advocacy tactics & strategies.

Columbus/New Albany, OH: February 26, 2005 (Advocacy Training) - NEW

Long Island, NY: March 4-5, 2005 (Mini Boot Camp)

Fort Wayne, IN: March 25, 2005 (Advocacy Training) Attorney Wayne Steedman and advocate Pat Howey present a full-day Wrightslaw training program.

Kansas City, MO: March 29, 2005 (Advocacy Training) - NEW

Glendale, AZ: April 1-2, 2005 (Boot Camp)

All participants will receive two books, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law and Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, (Value: $59.90), and the new publication, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004: Overview, Explanation and Comparison of IDEA 2004 & IDEA 97 by Peter Wright.

If you are interested in bringing a Wrightslaw program to your community, please read FAQs about Seminars.

6. Autism: The Hidden Epidemic?

Frightening Fact: According to a recent report from Government Accountability Office, the number of children diagnosed with autism skyrocketed more than 500 percent in the past ten years. (Special Education: Children with Autism published by the Government Accountability Office)

As families struggle with this devastating disorder, news organizations are taking a fresh look at issues related to autism, including theories behind its dramatic increase and effective treatments. NBC will run two new series next week: Autism: The Hidden Epidemic (February 21-25) & Autism: Paying the Price (February 22-25).

The NBC “Today” show is running a special 10-part series on autism from Monday, February 21 through Friday, February 25. Autism: The Hidden Epidemic will include these segments:

Feb. 21: Early Signs and Causes
Feb. 22: Diagnosis: The Marino Family Story
Feb. 23: Education and Emotional Aspects
Feb. 24: Advocating and the Law
Feb. 25: 'Autism Speaks' Initiative

The February 24 segment, "How to be the Best Advocate For Your Child," will include an interview with Gary Mayerson, the attorney who successfully represented the family in Zachary Deal v. Hamilton County (6th Cir. 2004). Mr. Mayerson is the author of How To Compromise With Your School District Without Compromising Your Child.

Beginning Tuesday, February 22, CNBC will air a four-part series, Autism: Paying the Price. This series focuses on the financial implications of autism and includes segments on:

* the financial impact on families
* the roles of government and private funding for research
* opportunities in healthcare and pharmaceuticals
* autism in the workplace

More info about Autism: The Hidden Epidemic & Autism: Paying the Price.

Autism, PDD and Asperger's Syndrome - FAQs, articles, caselaw, books, resources, research, information and support.

7. Free Pub: Special Education for Children with Autism

In January 2005, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published Special Education: Children with Autism. The publication answers four questions submitted by Congress about special education for children with autism.

Learn about their findings and recommendations - and how you can get a free copy of this free publication - in GAO Publishes Special Education: Children with Autism.

More Free Pubs

One obstacle in advocating for a child with a disability is finding the time to do research. We spend hours collecting information so you can spend your time learning, not searching.

Visit our Free Pubs page to download free publications about IEPs, special education, autism, transition planning, reading, children's mental health, harassment, high-stakes testing, retention and social promotion, zero tolerance, discipline, and more.

8. Annual Conference of The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates in Atlanta (March 10-13, 2005)

The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), a national organization of parents of children with disabilities and their advocates and lawyers, will hold their annual conference in Atlanta on March 10-13, 2005.

The conference provides unique opportunities for training and networking with experienced, knowledgeable attorneys and advocates on special education issues. Participants will learn about recent cases, legislative changes, and tactics.

On Thursday and Friday, March 10-11, there will be four intensive hands-on skills trainings:

Track 1: Parents and Advocates Skills Training
Track 2: Due Process Hearings For Attorneys
Track 3: Federal Litigation For Attorneys
Track 4: Orton Gillingham Course

Conference at a Glance.
Conference Info & Registration. Online Registration

Cost: Fees vary, depending on days attended and membership status. Tell them Pete & Pam sent you!

9. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Subscribers receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books.

Law Library Seminars & Training
Advocacy Yellow Pages for Kids
No Child Left Behind Free Newsletter
IDEA-2004 Newsletter Archives

Contact Info
Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: https://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: newsletter@wrightslaw.com

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