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You can make Summer Camp a part of your Child’s IEP Program

Because of Covid-19 restrictions, many of our students have spent the last 12 months indoors, looking at computer screens and trying to cope with distance learning - and unfortunately, regressing. Now that the weather is finally starting to break, we want you to be aware that Summer 2021 may be a prime opportunity for your child to reclaim their trajectory and get back on the path to progress. When a student is at risk for regression or requires additional time to recoup skills, that child is entitled to extended school year programming (“ESY”). If extended school year services are required in order for a student to...

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Promoting Independence and Inclusion

In 1987 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed March to be observed as “Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.” This milestone proclamation called upon Americans to provide the “encouragement and opportunities” necessary for people with developmental disabilities to reach their full potential. Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. About one in six children in the U.S. have one or more developmental disabilities or other developmental delays. In general, the functional criteria of a developmental disability are that the person has a chronic physical and/or intellectual disability that: Manifests in the developmental years, before age...

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Anxiety’s Spiking: Here’s How to Help Our Students

BY GUEST BLOGGER: HOWARD MARGOLIS COVID-19 has caused untold numbers of America’s students (and family members, teachers, and school support staff) to suffer mild to severe anxiety. Some will be helped by the passage of time and new coping skills. Some won’t. For those who won’t, especially those who suffer from severe anxiety, who intensely fear the future, it’s a crisis. It’s also a crisis for their families, their teachers, and America writ large. Choices: When faced with problems of this magnitude, we have choices. We can groan, pity ourselves, and fall prey to our fears. We can lament that, “The pandemic’s horrible....

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Emotional Disabilities: 504 and IDEA Eligibility Determination

By Mariann Crincoli, Esq.   Do you have a child with emotional issues who struggles or refuses to go to school, or who is unable to complete homework despite having the cognitive ability to do so? If the answer is yes, your child may have an emotional disability that may entitle her to either accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or an Individualized Educational Plan(IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act. 504 Plans To be eligible for a 504 Plan, a person must have a physical or mental impairment (ie. anxiety, depression, etc.) that substantially impacts one or...

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Thank you, Covid19—now my child has anxiety! What’s next?

By Mariann Crincoli, Esq.   Pandemics can be stressful and COVID19 has proved no different. Fear and anxiety about the disease, feelings of isolation and loneliness, social distancing, drastic changes in lifestyle, socialization, and learning platforms can be overwhelming and can generate strong emotions, especially in children. While anxiety may not always look the same or feel the same for every child, the stress associated with anxiety during a pandemic can include: • exacerbated fears or worries about one’s own health and the health of loved ones • changes in sleeping or eating habits • less opportunity for activity and exercise • difficulty concentrating • increased negative...

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Make 2021 the Year you Act to Protect your Family’s Future

By Mariann Crincoli, Esq. January is the start of a new year, bringing new hopes and possibilities. It’s also National Financial Wellness Month, a great time to make sure you have a comprehensive estate plan in place to protect your family and your special needs child into the future. Why is having an estate plan important, no matter the size of your estate? Through estate planning, you ensure that your assets will go to your intended beneficiaries. You also may save money on taxes, court costs, and attorney’s fees, and prevent disputes and financial confusion among heirs. In addition, you can protect...

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Happy Birthday, IDEA!

December 2nd is National Special Education Day, commemorating the anniversary of the nation’s first federal special education law. The Education for All Handicapped Children’s Act was signed into law on December 2, 1975. In 1990 this law was renamed The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The IDEA is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation. It ensures special education and related services to those children in the least restrictive environment (LRE). At Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler, our own history is intertwined with the birth of this landmark legislation. It...

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Epilepsy and the Classroom

As a parent, you know that for a child with epilepsy, a seizure disorder can seriously impact their success in the classroom. November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month, and the attorneys at Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler want you to know that federal law, as well as many state laws, grants children with epilepsy the right to receive certain supplemental services and, if necessary, special education. These federal laws are known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). A child with epilepsy or another disability who does not qualify for...

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Practice, Predictability, and Patience.

HELPING KIDS WITH SENSORY ISSUES ADJUST TO MASK-WEARING Most people have adjusted to wearing a mask during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the strange and new feeling of a mask against the face can be difficult for children with sensory processing differences. Parents, here are some suggestions for making the transition to mask-wearing easier on your child – and you! 1. The Mask. • If you already know the things your child can’t stand, like seams, tags, or synthetic fabrics that may feel scratchy, choose masks that don’t have these irritants. • Get masks that are properly sized for your child’s age and face, with adjustable...

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It’s Back to School – One Way or Another

Whether or not we feel ready, the start of another school year is here. The big difference this year, of course, is the COVID-19 virus. Some school districts will open on a modified basis, but many families are continuing only virtual learning from home. Whatever this school year holds for you and your special needs child, the attorneys at Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler want to share some tips to help with the adjustment to this new school model. Staci J. Greenwald, Esq. Being proactive can help avoid problems once the school year starts. Reach out to your child’s teacher in advance and...

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