Monthly Archives: June 2009

“We Noticed He Didn’t Meet Any of His Goals, so…”

Published on June 17, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

As a parents’ special education attorney in Connecticut, I hear outrageous statements that parents are told by their school districts on an almost daily basis.  But, sometimes, I am told something that passes the realm of outrageous, and crosses into ridiculous. Such statements mislead or misrepresent the school’s legal obligations, and always in a way […]

There is Good on Both Sides of the Fence

Published on June 16, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

essay on I have mentioned before that I am a second generation special education attorney.  My late father represented children with special needs, and I mentored under and learned from him for many years before becoming a lawyer myself.  My dad had a lot of favorite quotations from others, and more than a few of […]

“If you think your child has anxiety now…”

Published on June 15, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

As a parents’ special education attorney in Connecticut, I hear outrageous statements that parents are told by their school districts on an almost daily basis.  But, sometimes, I am told something that passes the realm of outrageous, and crosses into ridiculous. writing an essay about yourself Such statements mislead or misrepresent the school’s legal obligations, […]

The “Summary of Performance” of a Student’s Special Needs

Published on June 14, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

When the IDEA was reauthorized by Congress in 2004, a number of changes were made to the statute.  One such change was the creation of the Summary of Performance (“SOP”) for students who have IEPs and are either graduating from high school, or being exited from special education services due to “aging out” of the […]

Who Is Watching The Adults?

Published on June 13, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

I was just reading about that Florida teacher who asked her kindergarten class to vote on whether or not to keep a little boy with autism in the class.  The reason for the vote, apparently, was that he was exhibiting inappropriate behaviors in the classroom, for which he was routinely being sent to the Principal’s […]

“Well ALL Kids Do That!”

Published on June 11, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

T-minus 12 business days until the end of June, and therefore the close of yet another whirlwind Annual Review IEP Season.  Somehow, I don’t think I’m going to make it without another few rants.  In my special education law practice in Connecticut, I attend most of the Annual Reviews on behalf of my clients this […]

Unfair, But Not Illegal, Special Education Scenarios

Published on June 9, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

On a weekly basis, I am told a story by a parent of child with special education needs which they are convinced is a violation of the law.  It usually starts with “and then the special education teacher told me…” and ends with “they can’t do that, can they?”  To begin with, “they” can do […]

Unseemly IEP Team Member: “The Cheerleader”

Published on June 8, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

“The Cheerleader” So, a parent of a child with special education needs arrives at an IEP meeting with a list of serious concerns.  Not infrequently, their child is struggling, and the parents’ disagreements with the program are significant.  There may even be severe academic or behavioral regression at the time of the meeting.  Sometimes the […]

Decisions, Decisions…And Why An IEP Team Must Be Able to Make Them!

Published on June 7, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

How many times have you attended an IEP Team Meeting for your child with special education needs, and requested a service or evaluation, only to be told “well, we’ll have to check with the special education director and get back to you” or “that’s not a decision that I can make” or “I don’t know […]

Good Skills Are More Important Than Good Grades

Published on June 6, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

I am so tired of hearing school staff tell parents of children with disabilities that everything is going well, simply because that child is being given good grades by the very staff who are claiming that the program is going well! First, a little history lesson in special education law. The IDEA requires that each […]