Category Archives: Tips for Parents

VIDEO: Asking for an Independent Educational Evaluation

Published on November 13, 2012 by Jennifer Laviano

Years in the making, Your Special Education Rights.com is a video-based website we’ve created to help parents understand their rights.  Check us out at www.yourspecialeducationrights.com; we’d love it if you subscribed! cigar store Meanwhile, please watch the first of a series we’re making of simulated IEP Team Meetings, with tips from Julie Swanson and me […]

IEEs: Do You Have to Explain Why You Disagree?

Published on February 14, 2011 by Jennifer Laviano

  As I have covered on several occasions in the past, a parent's right to an Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) under the IDEA is, in my view, one of the strongest available under the special education laws.  This opportunity to get a “second opinion” on the school district's evaluations is, in many cases, the difference […]

DON'T THROW AWAY ANYTHING!!!

Published on December 22, 2010 by Jennifer Laviano

Sometimes it's difficult to know what to to be happy about as an attorney who represents children with disabilities.  As you can imagine, the facts that support a “really great special education case” are, by definition, at best unpleasant, and at worst horrific. It's an odd feeling, reviewing a child's special education records.  When I […]

Ask for the Email

Published on November 18, 2010 by Jennifer Laviano

Whenever parents retain my firm, I ask them to sign a form requesting all of their child's education records be sent to me as their special education lawyer.  It's a standard “FERPA” request…the easiest way to explain FERPA is that it is sort of like the educational version of HIPAA.  Bottom line is that I […]

10 Special Ed "Back To School" Readiness Questions

Published on August 30, 2010 by Jennifer Laviano

essay writing help online It's “back to school” time!  While many of my clients receive Extended School Year (ESY) services over the summer, I have learned over the years in my special education law practice that, regardless of whether your child receives ESY services, a number of things can occur over a summer that might […]

What is an IEP “Amendment?”

Published on March 17, 2010 by Jennifer Laviano

Every so often, Congress “reauthorizes” the IDEA.  The most recent was the 2004 Reauthorization, also known as IDEA04, and sometimes IDEIA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act).  When the 2004 IDEA came out, there were a number of changes with which I, and many parents’ attorneys and advocates, disagreed.  However, there was one change […]

A Simple Question, Well Placed

Published on February 18, 2010 by Jennifer Laviano

Whenever I am asked to present to public school educators or special education administrators on the subject of the rights of children with disabilities, I try to remind them that, in every profession, continuing education should be embraced and appreciated.  This is because I have found so many problems when teachers feel threatened by a […]

What NOT to Wear to Your Due Process Hearing

Published on February 10, 2010 by Jennifer Laviano

Many of my clients will ask me what to wear to their child’s special education Due Process Hearing.  As a matter of law, it should be entirely irrelevant to the proceedings what the parents of children with disabilities are wearing.  Impartial Hearing Officers are not saying “I found in favor of the school district because […]

Should I Tape Record the IEP Meeting?

Published on January 24, 2010 by Jennifer Laviano

student discount microsoft office 2013 In my special education law practice in Connecticut, parents ask me all the time about tape recording their child’s IEP Team meetings.   Like most things, there are benefits and detriments to doing so, and I have heard parents’ attorneys and advocates come down on both sides of the question.  Some […]

You’re Not Invited

Published on December 15, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

How is it that, in disputes between parents and school districts, whenever an IEP Team Member starts to align their recommendations with the parents’ position, they suddenly stop getting invited to that child’s IEP Meetings?  In my Connecticut special education law practice, I see this all the time. Example 1:  the parents believe that their […]