Special Ed Law Day

Special Education Law Day: Intensive Training for Parents
Thursday, November 8th  8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Morning coffee and boxed lunch will be served.
This training is available as a separate event for individuals not planning to attend the entire conference for $50.  Pre-registration is required.

Timothy A. Adams, Esq., Special Education Attorney
Lynne Arnold, MA, parent
Mitchel Perlman, PhD, Clinical Forensic Psychologist

Advocating for your child is a complex and sometimes counter-intuitive process. In these sessions, parents will learn the basic concepts of special education law, the importance of strategizing and how to use this knowledge to gain control of their child’s education. The primary goal of this track: parents will become  empowered IEP team members by gaining an understanding of special ed law, which then can be directly applied to their child’s specific needs and situation.

This is an intensive track designed to get parents up to speed quickly and will cover extensive information. To facilitate this process, each participant will receive a workbook with supporting information on key concepts, selected sections of IDEA, background facts on case studies as well as recommended reading and resources.

Topics include:
-Documentation, letter writing, gathering and evaluating documents
-Selecting and working with independent experts
-IEP Goals
-Independent educational evaluations
-Extended school year services (ESY)
-NRC’s Educating Children with Autism
-Stay Put
-Prior Written Notice
-Least Restrictive Environment
-When and how to use the services of a special education attorney

Session #1: IDEA 2004 Overview
IDEA was re-authorized in 2004 and many regulations came into effect in fall 2006. Do you understand how these recent changes affect your child? Come learn the basic framework of IDEA 2004 as well as the implications of recent case law in the context of achieving FAPE for the child affected by autism.

Session #2: IEP Strategy
The first step to effectively controlling the IEP process is determining the appropriate strategy to gain leverage with the school district. The IEP process will be broken down into components to teach parents how to evaluate the best course of action in each situation. We will discuss how parents can more effectively respond to district objections to parental and independent expert recommendations. Techniques for forcing district personnel to fully explain their positions and district “policies” will be explored. Parents will learn how to apply these concepts to their child’s individual needs and their district.


Session #3: Assessments/Evaluations
What does a thorough assessment entail? How do you know if your child’s capabilities and needs have been adequately and accurately assessed? Assessing the child in all areas of suspected disability is the legal obligation of the district and usually the most important building block of the IEP. Without an accurate assessment, it can be nearly impossible to place the child in the correct program that capitalizes on his abilities.This session will explore common contradictions and misinterpretations in district assessments that result in inappropriate recommendations. The most important aspects of an independent educational evaluation as well as critical ages for assessment will be covered.

Session #4: Advanced Strategy — Wrapping It All Up (case studies)
Participants will have an opportunity to apply the lessons learned in the previous five sessions to case studies of three different children. In each situation, a different strategic plan is chosen which takes into consideration the individual needs of the child in the context of his/her district’s autism program.

Session #5: Questions & Answers

Presenter Bios:

Timothy A. Adams, Esq. received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine and his Juris Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University School of Law. He has served as an adjunct professor and Associate Director of the Special Education Advocacy Clinic, Pepperdine University School of Law. He is actively involved in educating parents through presentations to disability rights organizations and parent support groups including speaker at Autism One (2005-2009), the National Autism Association (2005 and 2007-2008) and the National Epilepsy Foundation Annual Conference (2001). He has been interviewed and quoted in publications including the Daily Journal (2001), the Orange County Register and the nationally published magazine Parenting (March 2003); He is Adams & Associates’ Chief Executive Officer.

Lynne Arnold is the coordinator of Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) of Visalia, CA. Through conference presentations and mentoring, she helps parents to understand their child’s rights to appropriate interventions and education. Lynne is the editor of Autism: Asserting Your Child’s Rights to a Special Education by David A. Sherman. She has presented at Autism One (2005-2009), National Autism Association Conference (2005 and 2007-2008), Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT), Autism Society of America and other autism groups.

Mitchel D. Perlman, Ph.D., focuses on the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents who have specialized needs and/or who are involved in chaotic-intense-traumatic-critical situations. Known for the comprehensiveness of his investigatory assessments (psychodiagnostic, psychoeducational, neurocognitive), Dr. Perlman is often called on to be the impartial independent examiner in juvenile, family, civil and special education proceedings. He lends his expertise and keen insights to children/teens who have stepped away from the mainstream and/or who have gotten themselves in over their heads – emotionally, legally or in relation to others. He is involved in assessing some of the most fascinating individuals, and he has a knack for detecting and/or explaining things that have often gone unnoticed or that have been misunderstood. For example, in many children who had been diagnosed with autism and mental retardation, Dr. Perlman has found near-gifted to gifted intelligence and has been instrumental in guiding parents to the resources to unlock it.

Parent testimonials:

I just wanted to say to the group that I attended Ms. Arnold’s seminar last year, and it was unlike any other IEP conference I have ever attended.

The conference concentrated on strategies, rather than the ins and outs of the law, which were immediately usable.

Many IEP workgroups/seminars are lead by schools or administrators. This seminar is led by a super smart mom and her lawyer and an extremely knowledgeable psychologist (regarding evaluations). Every minute of the presentation contains something worth writing down. It was equally as entertaining, as Ms. Arnold speaks from experience and tells it like it with regard to dealing with schools & administrators, a place where many of us have been and can definitely relate.

This conference is part of the National Autism Association’s weekend conference in S. Florida and should seriously be considered by anyone in Florida whose child has an IEP.  The cost, which includes a lunch and a workbook, is a complete steal.

The year I attended Law Day (2007) was the year my sons program at school imploded. It was a complete disaster. Learning to “write a letter to a stranger” was a huge help. Learning what questions to ask in an IEP was huge! What a difference it makes when you ask “How many children are in group speech” and realize the school personnel is squirming because it is the entire class!!

After 3 IEPS and 3 resolution meetings we ultimately received a great offer from the school district and have been able to keep the program for two years. I think the “Letter to a Stranger” made a huge difference and even the district personnel commented on how well written it was.