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Special Needs

Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler > Special Needs

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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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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Returning to the Classroom under COVID: A Planning Checklist

When children walk into their classrooms this fall, many things will look different. Since familiarity helps children feel secure, the changes necessary to safeguard everyone from COVID-19 may upset or confuse your child, at least at first. To help parents prepare children for new school procedures, the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC), offers some ideas: Talk with your child: Describe how the school will look different (e.g., desks far apart from each other, teachers maintaining physical distance, the possibility of staying in the classroom for lunch). Ask about how the school is going and about interactions with classmates and teachers. Find out...

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Bullying Basics – Special Needs Children

Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler works with all families whose children are involved in bullying matters as either victims or alleged violators of school anti-bullying policies. Bullying can be a devastating experience for any child and could result in long term consequences. Fortunately, due to the vulnerability of special needs children, they receive extra protection under the law. Parents of all children involved in bullying matters can invoke a variety of laws and parents of special needs children are afforded protection under laws that have been written specifically to protect children with disabilities who are bullied. Here’s Your First Step to Start...

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Why We Advocate

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUuWoied2zU[/embed] Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler is recognized as one of the leading special education law firms in NJ, having helped thousands of children with special needs receive access to the educational opportunities they might otherwise not have had. Our efforts on behalf of our clients have helped to set legal precedent in the New Jersey and Federal Courts. We are here to help. Call us today! 609.409.3500...

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Stand Up to Bullying

Bullying can be a devastating experience for any child, but when the child being bullied has special needs, serious and long-term consequences for the child may result. Fortunately, special needs children receive extra protection under the law. Parents can invoke laws that have been written specifically to protect children with disabilities who are bullied. First, what qualifies as bullying?  Bullying includes physical threats, but it may also encompass verbal abuse (teasing and threats), graphic or written statements, and behavior that creates a hostile environment or infringes on a student’s rights at school. In general, bullying involves an imbalance–or a perceived imbalance–of power....

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3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Dealing with Special Needs Planning

It’s never too soon to plan for the future, especially when you have a child with special needs. There are several important aspects involved in special needs estate planning and speaking with a professional is always the best bet. What you don’t know can hurt you and your child in the long-run. However, it’s a good idea to go into the meeting for a estate planning attorney armed with some knowledge about the decisions you will have to make as you set up a an estate plan. There are plenty of government guidelines that can be confusing and overwhelming. You have...

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