Category Archives: Tips for Parents

Enforcing Mediation Agreements

Published on November 23, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

We’ve covered whether to attend a Mediation.  There are benefits and risks, but generally it is a forum which I recommend, where appropriate. But what happens if you’ve already attended one, reached a Mediation Agreement, and the school district isn’t honoring it? Unfortunately, in my special education law practice, I am regularly contacted by parents […]

Assistive Technology Under IDEA

Published on November 3, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

Did you know that Assistive Technology is required, by federal law, to be considered in the development of EVERY SINGLE IEP? Yes, that’s right.  AT should be discussed every time an IEP is being developed. The IDEA states that the IEP Team “must,” in the development of IEPs, “consider whether the child needs assistive technology […]

Interpreters for IEP Team Meetings

Published on October 7, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

Parents of children with special needs routinely tell me that they don’t understand their child’s IEP Team.  But what if this were LITERALLY true?  For parents of children with disabilities who are either deaf or who don’t speak English as a first language, these complex, and often contentious, IEP Meetings must seem even more overwhelming. […]

Stay Put

Published on September 30, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

There are a number of “procedural safeguards” under the IDEA which are designed to ensure that the rights of children with special education needs, and their parents, are protected.  They are all important, but, in my view, one of the strongest is what we call “stay-put.” We use the term “stay-put” to refer to the […]

Transfer of Rights at Adulthood

Published on September 27, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

The IDEA is a statute which outlines a great deal of both procedural and substantive rights conferred on children with disabilities, and their parents.  Most parents do not realize is that, while there are specific obligations which school districts have to parents of students with special needs, the vast majority of the entitlements are for […]

Emotional Disabilities Under the IDEA

Published on September 19, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

If there is one area of disability which, in my experience, most parents do not realize can fall within the auspices of “special education,” it is mental illness.  I can’t tell you how many times in my Connecticut special education law practice parents have called me because their child’s psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or therapist […]

Not What the Doctor Ordered

Published on September 13, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

One of the most important, and complicated, things for parents of children with special education needs to understand is that there is a big difference between the educational and the medical models of treatment and intervention.  Often, parents of children with disabilities get caught right in the middle of these two systems.  The procedures and […]

Transition Services: The Buck Stops Where?

Published on August 23, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

legitimate work from home One of the most important aspects of the IDEA, about which I speak and write often, is the requirement for Transition Services.  In an upshot, these are the services which are designed to prepare students with disabilities to become adults.  Now, I would argue that ALL special education services should be […]

Fix It Or Move?

Published on August 19, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

I have represented hundreds of children with special education needs over the years.  You can imagine that, if the parents have decided to hire an attorney, there isn’t a lot of “warm and fuzzy” going on between them and the school.  There is frustration.  There is disappointment.  There is confusion.  There is anger, and sometimes […]

Email: The New Teacher’s Lounge?

Published on August 7, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

I remember when my father first got into special education law in the 80s, and he would hear about notices posted on the bulletin board in the Teacher’s Lounge in various districts.  He was usually told about incriminating ones by other teachers “off the record;” many times they were teachers who happened to be parents […]