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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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