Tag Archives: IDEA claims

The Tip of the Iceberg

Published on June 16, 2013 by Jennifer Laviano

It's been a fascinating several months here in Connecticut, as we have watched events unfold in the special education community in Darien.  The coverage has been wide locally, but if you don't want to read it all, here's the upshot:  the Special Education Director in this small, affluent town in lower Fairfield County (itself small […]

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 […]

“This Doesn’t Happen to People Like Us”

Published on April 12, 2012 by Jennifer Laviano

You won’t believe this story. In fact, I didn’t, at first.  As you might expect from a lawyer, I had to be convinced through documentary evidence.  Once I was, I couldn’t wait to share it! If you read my blog you already know that I’m a pretty jaded and cynical person.  I like to remain […]

Fictitious Thinking: The “New” Definition of Autism

Published on January 21, 2012 by Jennifer Laviano

Do you remember the character Cassandra from Greek mythology?  Her curse was that she could accurately predict the future, but nobody would believe her when she warned them about it. Today I feel like Cassandra. In 2009, I wrote a blog post about the impending changes to the definition of “autism” in the DSM-V.  I […]

Social-Pathologist-Behavior-Worker-Therapist-Type Person

Published on October 10, 2011 by Jennifer Laviano

True confession:  when I was in junior high and high school I LOVED General Hospital.  I admit it.  I loved it even though I knew it was ludicrous.  It's an embarrassing but true part of my past. One of the things that I realized about the show as I got older was just how silly […]

Weather or Naught

Published on May 23, 2011 by Jennifer Laviano

  Okay…I know it’s that time of year again.  IEP Season.  From now through the end of June, I will be in numerous IEP meetings per week, sometimes a few a day.  It’s enough to make a woman cranky. This isn’t the first year I’ve written about the nauseating experience of hearing the same ridiculous comments […]

Cherry Picking IEP Members

Published on March 15, 2011 by Jennifer Laviano

Despite nearly 15 years practicing special education law in Connecticut, there are still some old tricks which school districts employ which astound me.  Not that I am surprised that they continue to do it, but rather, that they think I won’t notice after all of this time. One of the oldest tactics is when special […]

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 […]

35 Years of IDEA: A Dream Deferred?

Published on December 2, 2010 by Jennifer Laviano

A few days ago marked 35 years since the federal special education statute, now known as IDEA, was signed into law.  It is hard to believe that within my lifetime, and probably yours, it was legally permissible to exclude children with disabilities from our public schools entirely. Think about that for a minute. A little […]