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By Christina D. Ghio, Esq. The Law Office of Christina D. Ghio, LLC 1.

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Presentation on theme: "By Christina D. Ghio, Esq. The Law Office of Christina D. Ghio, LLC 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 By Christina D. Ghio, Esq. The Law Office of Christina D. Ghio, LLC 1

2  I or my spouse/life partner do/does not now or in the past 12 months have a financial relationship with manufacturers of products or providers of services or with any medically related commercial interest relevant to this planned educational activity. 2

3  Basic Understanding of the IDEA Process  Basic Understanding of IDEA Requirements  How You Can Help Parents Obtain Special Education Services 3

4  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law requiring that children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) 4

5 Referral Evaluation Identification Services 5

6  Parents, physicians, clinics, or social workers may make a referral for evaluation  School must accept and process the referral  All referrals should be in writing 6

7  Poor attendance (including truancy)  Repeated suspensions  Unsatisfactory behavior  Unsatisfactory progress in school  Difficulties with/withdrawal from social engagement 7

8  Screen and identify developmental delays and refer to Birth to Three or school district for further assessment  Know when children should be referred for initial evaluation and make the referral  Document areas of suspected disability and be specific about areas of concern 8

9  Decisions are made by the Planning and Placement Team (PPT)  Membership of PPT specifically defined by IDEA and includes parents and, if appropriate, child 9

10 IDEA establishes procedures for evaluation:  all areas of suspected disability  multidisciplinary  determined by PPT  consideration of existing information/data  comprehensive  Parental consent required for initial and re- evaluation 10

11  Parents can bring in evaluative information  Right to an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) 11

12  Help parent identify appropriate areas for assessment  Help parent convey concerns to the PPT  Write letter documenting specific areas of suspected disability that should be assessed  Participate in the PPT 12

13  Categories of disability identified in IDEA  Mental retardation  Hearing impairment  Speech and language impairment  Visual impairment  Serious emotional disturbance  Orthopedic impairment 13

14  Categories of disability identified in IDEA (continued)  Autism  Traumatic brain injury  Other health impairment  Specific learning disability  Deafness  Blindness  Multiple disabilities 14

15  Understand Eligibility Criteria  Understand the categories of eligibility  Direct parents to appropriate resources to educate themselves  Participate in or write letter to PPT 15

16  Individual  Based on child’s needs as determined by the PPT 16

17  IEP must be developed and implemented within forty-five school days of date of referral (excluding time for parental consent)  must include a statement of the special education, related services, supplementary aids and services, modifications and supports for school personnel to enable the child “to advance appropriately toward attaining annual goals” 17

18  Must allow child “to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum and to participate in extracurricular and other non-academic activities” AND  “to be educated and participate with other children with disabilities and nondisabled children...” 18

19  Know that services are based on needs of the child  Articulate what specific services the child needs in order to progress educationally  Related Services  Supplementary Services  Document your recommendations  Participate in the PPT 19

20  Districts are required to provide education when a child is unable to attend school due to a verified medical reason (including mental health issues)  Starting no later than the 11 th day  Significant changes to regulations effective July 1, 2013 20

21  Physician must provide a statement to the board on a form provided by the board stating:  You have consulted with school health supervisory personnel and determined that attendance with reasonable accommodations is not feasible;  Child is unable to attend school due to a verified medical reason;  Child’s diagnosis with supporting documentation;  Child will be absent from school for at lest 10 consecutive days OR absent for short, repeated periods of time throughout the school year;  Expected date of return to school 21

22  Medically complex means a child who:  Has a serious, ongoing illness or chronic condition for at least one year; and  requires prolonged or intermittent hospitalization and ongoing medical treatments or medical devices to compensate for the loss of bodily functions 22

23  PPT must consider the educational needs of the child and the need for instruction to be provided in accordance with the IEP when the child can not attend;  Must make accommodation for child’s educational program moving from school to home/hospital and back  Must begin no later than the 3 rd day 23

24  Schools can dispute whether the student requires homebound/hospitalized instruction  School’s “medical advisor” or “other health professional” reviews the information submitted;  Parent must provide consent for consultation  If disagreement after consultation, school may offer review by a qualified independent physician 24

25  What happens if parent doesn’t want child assessed by independent medical practitioner?  Homebound/hospitalized instruction ends  Board and Parent have a right to pursue due process hearing and/or mediation 25

26  If behavior impedes the child’s learning or that of others, the PPT must consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies, to address that behavior 26

27  In general, child with a disability may be removed for violation of code of student conduct for 10 days or less  If removal is for more than 10 days OR the child is subjected to a series of removals that constitute a pattern, this constitutes a change in placement and school must conduct a manifestation determination review 27

28  Encourage parent to request a PPT  Encourage parent to request FBA  Remember IEE is available for FBA  Help parents identify positive behavioral interventions and supports  Make recommendations for BIP  Encourage parent to request manifestation determination review (MDR), when required  Participate in PPT and/or MDR 28

29  Know how “education” is defined  Know when to refer  Write letters  Participate in PPT meetings  Know parents’ rights and when parents should contact an advocate or attorney 29

30  Connecticut Legal Services (800-453-3320 or 860-344- 0380)  Greater Hartford Legal Aid (860-541-5000)  New Haven Legal Assistance(203-946-4811)  Office of Protection and Advocacy (860-297-4300)  Center for Children’s Advocacy TeamChild Project (860-570-5327) 30

31 For more information: Christina D. Ghio, Esq. The Law Office of Christina D. Ghio, LLC P.O. Box 186 Cheshire, CT 06410 Ph. 860-580-9443 Ph. 203-439-06956 Fax 860-516-1550 Email: Web: 31

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