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Connecticut Special Education Law Blog

Is It Discipline In Disguise? Your Child's Behavioral Needs and the IEP

child feinstein.pngYou may already be aware that your child's IEP needs to address his behavioral, social, and emotional needs (among others) in addition to his academic deficits and learning challenges. For example, a student who needs specialized reading instruction may receive an IEP under the Specific Learning Disability designation. But if this student also has trouble with peer conflicts, off task behavior, and difficulty focusing in class, his IEP should include appropriate goals, instruction, and related services designed to meet those behavioral needs as well. That student may receive both small group reading instruction along with school-based counseling.

Beyond the Triennial Reevaluation: When Do I Ask the School to Reevaluate My Child?


By Melanie E. Dunn, Of Counsel

If you're familiar with the special education eligibility process, you may already know that the IDEA requires your school district to evaluate your child at least once every three years following the initial evaluation that determines his eligibility for special education and related services. This process is known as the triennial reevaluation, or sometimes referred to as a student's "triennial review." It serves the purpose of redetermining the student's eligibility for an individualized education plan (IEP), and provides updates to his levels of functioning and educational needs. But there are other times when an evaluation may be needed, even if your child's triennial isn't yet due: 

Extended School Year (ESY): Does My Child Need a Summer Program as Part of His IEP?

 Extended School Year (ESY): Does My Child Need a Summer Program as Part of His IEP?

Summer is in full swing, and for many students with IEPs, that means extended school year (ESY) programming. An ESY program is a bit different from summer school. ESY includes specialized instruction and related services that the student needs in order to prevent regression of skills during the extended break from school.

Like the rest of the child's IEP, the ESY program must be individualized to meet that particular student's unique educational needs, and allow him to make progress on his IEP goals and objectives. Not all special education students require extended school year services. If your child is not likely to lose skills over the summer, or if she is able to quickly recoup any previously learned skills even after an extended break, she likely is not entitled to ESY.

Summer Is the Best Time to Prepare for the New School Year


The school year just ended, and you probably had an annual review meeting in April or May to update your child's individualized education plan (IEP). Or perhaps the IEP team plans to meet in September or October, once the new school year is underway, to review your child's educational progress and update the IEP accordingly. Summer is the time to scrutinize your child's IEP, organize his evaluations and progress reports, and plan ahead to set him up for success this fall. Here is what you can do to make the start of a new school year less hectic for both of you: 

Katie's Chronicles: Self Interview

The following post is part of a series of reflections and interview responses given by successful young adults with varying disabilities who have direct experience with the Connecticut Special Education system. Our interviewer and writer is Katie Feinstein, daughter of Attorney Feinstein, who is also a successful young adult living with disabilities. Katie chronicles individuals respective journeys within the system and beyond, into their adult lives. The Feinstein Education Law Group represented some of these young adults when they were students. Katie asks individuals to discuss their struggles, triumphs and perspectives as they consider their pasts and move forward into futures of hope and evolving independence.

Individualized Education Programs help kids with special needs

Your child has special needs, and you've had those established by a medical provider. You want your child to go to school and have fun with the other children, but his or her education is important to you, too.

You know there are some options to help with your child's schoolwork and assessments. Those options are open to people who opt into an individualized education program.

Letter to CT Commissioner Wentzell: Remind School Districts of Their Obligations to Students with Emotional Disturbances

On November 9, 2017, thirty-seven parent advocates, attorneys, and surrogate parents submitted a letter to Commissioner of Education Dianna R. Wentzell to request that she remind Connecticut school administrators of their duty to appropriately educate students identified as having an Emotional Disturbance as defined by IDEA and State law. In many cases, Emotionally Disturbed students require intensive mental health services as part of their individualized education plans (IEPs).

Bullied at school? Here are 3 tips to help your child

When your child requires special education, it's the school's job to make sure he or she is not harassed by other students. A good educational facility makes sure students are kind to one another and understand differences. They should not tolerate abuse or harassment.

Despite that, many children do go through stages where they struggle with bullies. How can you help your child, especially when he or she has special needs?

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