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Ambitious and Challenging Goals for Children with Cognitive Impairments

Parents often complain to me that their child’s Committee on Special Education (CSE) is trying to lower expectations for their child due to a cognitive impairment, often based on IQ scores.[1] However, in its 2017 Endrew F.[2] opinion, the Supreme Court made clear that all students with disabilities must have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that […]


Life After Corona

At this point, it seems trite to say that the Coronavirus quarantine has been very challenging for children with disabilities and their families. Districts, federal and state agencies, and families are still struggling with how best (least worst?) to handle this unprecedented time. Much has been written as to what schools are required to provide […]

What’s In A Name? The Mysteries of IEP Classification

Parents frequently ask me about the Disability Classification on their children’s IEPs. This is usually found at the top of the first page. They ask whether it matters what their child is classified under. Before addressing this issue, we need to understand how classification works. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) a “child […]

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“Sorry, your child doesn’t qualify for services because her scores are too high”

Have you heard this before? Remember, the IEP starts with THE evaluation. You can’t develop goals for the student until you identify her strengths and weaknesses. And you can’t do that without a comprehensive evaluation. Parents frequently complain to me that their child’s Committee on Special Education (CSE) tells them their children don’t qualify for […]

Did Someone Say Summer School?

Temperatures are dropping. Snow is falling. Could it be that time of the year again? Yep, you guessed it. Time to think about Summer School! [We’ll get back to why we need to think about this now that the leaves are off the trees]. To be more precise, it’s called Extended School Year (ESY) programs […]

Summer Homework

So the days are getting longer, the kids are down to their last “precious” days of school. Time to relax and not have to think about school for a couple months, right? Well, not exactly. The fact is that the summer is the ideal time to organize your child’s records and other information. The good […]

Evaluation Delayed is Justice Denied

A complaint I’ve been hearing from parents lately is how long it takes to get their children initial evaluations for special education services. Often they wait months or even years for the evaluation while their children suffer. The District may offer excuses such as: “We don’t have enough resources to do all these evaluations” or […]

But I Don’t Want My Child To Graduate!

What if I DON’T Want my Child to Graduate? Does a school’s FAPE obligations end when my son graduates? Believe it or not, the answer is sometimes NO. It’s true that generally, once a student reaches 21 (or 22 depending upon the state) or graduates, whichever comes first, the School District is no longer obligated […]

Psst! Can I get my district to pay for that evaluation????

Parents often ask me about getting their school districts to pay for private evaluations. Sometimes their districts ignore their requests for evaluations, don’t evaluate their children in all the areas they should, or just conduct inadequate evaluations. I’ve written about Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs) in the past, but I think it’s time to get back […]

To Speak or Not To Speak (at a CSE meeting), That is the Question

Parents often ask me how much they should disclose at Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings. Should they “play it close to the vest” and not tip off the CSE of their intentions?” Maybe they have an independent evaluation that shows their child needs additional services. Maybe the parents are looking at potential private schools […]