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District Court upholds SGW victory against Summit Schools

Written by  Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler Sussan Greenwald and Wesler together with co-counsel Connell Foley prevailed over Summit Schools in a case that proves that "meaningful education benefit" is a concept that has teeth in New Jersey. On July 27, 2015, in T.O. et al v. Summit City Board of Education, the United States District Court affirmed the July 2, 2012 decision of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The A LJ had held that Summit failed to provide a free, appropriate public education to a child, J.O., who suffered from apraxia of speech and dyspraxia. Jayne M. Wesler, a partner at...

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The courage of grandparents of special needs children

Written by  Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler Grandparents of children with special needs are often unsung heroes in their family’s lives. They are often tremendous advocates for these children. They provide incredible support to both their grandchildren and their parents who often face many challenges outside the home. When a special needs child comes into a family, grandparents, like parents, need time to go through the stages of blame, sadness, anger, and acceptance as they adjust to how their expected roles may have changed. Once grandparents are ready to embrace the gift of special needs grandchildren and roll up their sleeves, there...

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How to prepare for a substitute teacher when a child has special needs

Written by  Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler “Today We Had a Substitute….” Having a substitute teacher can be welcome news for some students. For those students, it can be a chance to try to break the rules and hopefully do less work. For other students—especially children with special needs—having a substitute teacher can be a source of uncertainly, anxiety, frustration, and fear. In addition, when having a substitute means that special needs kids miss out on receiving needed supports or accommodations, a substitute can mean a difficult day, missed opportunities for learning, and even getting in trouble. It’s not easy to be a substitute...

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Confusion Surrounds “Twice Exceptional Children”

Written by  Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler Children who are “twice exceptional” have been around for a long time. Once called “gifted handicapped,” this group of school children has two defining characteristics: 1) they are gifted in one or more areas, and 2) they have learning differences or other disabilities that interfere with their functioning. Twice exceptional children are, in fact, a large population—one estimate placed the number at 70,000 in the K-12 years. So why do “twice exceptional” children (sometimes referred to as “2e” children) often fall through the cracks? The clear answer is confusion: confusion exists about the definition of twice...

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