Roundup: Special Ed and Coronavirus/ Coping with Early Dementia/Standalone Special Needs Trusts

SNA attorneys have ongoing involvement with the wide-ranging issues faced by individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Here is a sampling from member blogs and newsletters… Defining a Student’s Legal Rights to Special Ed During COVID-19 With coronavirus isolating families at home, how will special ed students receive the services so important [...]


Isolation Tips for Families with Special Needs

This post was authored by Bryn Poland, Esq., of Mayo & Poland, PLLC, Baytown, Texas. She focuses her practice on special needs trust planning and administration, qualified settlement funds, and estate planning. She is a member of the Special Needs Alliance. Schools and day programs are suspended. Non-essential businesses are told to operate remotely. Families [...]


What Parents Need to Know about Special Education Rights

This post was authored  by Marion M. Walsh, Esq., a partner with Littman Krooks LLP, which has offices in White Plains and New York City. She has worked in education law for  over 20 years and leads the special education department at Littman Krooks. She is certified by the New York State Education Department  as an impartial hearing officer for children with disabilities.


Full Funding of the IDEA Critical for Our Children

By Linda M. Gorczynski, Esq. It's critical that we get increased funding for special education services in order to meet the needs of students with disabilities and achieve compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Attempts have been made to make legislative changes for years, but it hasn't happened. We all need to [...]


Bullying and Kids with Disabilities

By Judith L. Smith, Esq. Bullying in its many forms is a serious, all-too-common problem, and social media has moved this abuse online. The bullying may involve insults, threats or physical violence, with results that range from damaged self-esteem to poor academic performance to bodily injury. Children with special needs are more frequently targeted by [...]


Five Activities to Improve Your Child’s Communication Skills

By Lisa Orlando, Invo-Progressus Communication is such a fundamental part of who we are that we can take for granted how often we use these skills. Speaking, listening, questioning and responding are all a part of our daily lives. That is why so much emphasis is placed on communication regarding your child with special needs. [...]


Should You Transfer 529 College Savings to an ABLE Account?

By Robert B. Fleming, CELA ABLE accounts are relatively new savings options open to certain individuals with disabilities. As long as the funds are used ‚Äúto improve the beneficiary‚Äôs health, independence of quality of life,‚ÄĚ earnings aren‚Äôt taxed and eligibility for means-tested government programs won‚Äôt be affected. Now, families who previously established 529 college savings [...]


Special Ed Needs Flexibility

By Krista S. Peyton, Esq., Guest Blogger Families find it difficult to navigate the special ed system. In my experience, there’s a tendency for school districts to push a one-size-fits-all model, with parents expected to accept what’s on offer. My son, Maxwell, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, and through grade nine, [...]


Where Can Service Animals Go?

By Richard A. Courtney, CELA In addition to performing helpful tasks, service dogs offer unconditional love and opportunities for social interaction. Service animals can change lives. My daughter, Melanie, who’s had service dogs for years, comments that beyond the many helpful tasks they perform and the unconditional love they provide, they open up opportunities for [...]


Supreme Court Special Ed Decision Leaves Questions Unanswered

By Cora A. Alsante, Esq. A recent decision by the United States Supreme Court regarding Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) has been widely praised.¬† The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees ‚Äúfree appropriate public education‚ÄĚ to students with disabilities.¬† The definition of ‚Äúappropriate,‚ÄĚ however, was at issue.¬† The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that in order [...]


SSI Rules for Students

This installment of the Voice was written by Special Needs Alliance member Barbara Isenhour, Esq., of the firm of Somers Tamblyn King Isenhour Bleck, PLLC in Seattle, Washington. Barbara's practice focuses on government benefits for individuals with disabilities and estate planning for families with children who have special needs. A board member of Full Life Care in Seattle, Barbara frequently lectures around the state of Washington on issues involving special needs trusts and government benefits for the elderly and individuals with disabilities.


Tips for Negotiating the Best IEP

By Linda M. Gorczynski, Esq. For many families, negotiating for their child‚Äôs special ed services is highly stressful. So much depends on a young student‚Äôs getting the tools to prepare for adulthood. By law, every child with disabilities is entitled to a ‚Äúfree and appropriate‚ÄĚ public education (FAPE), but coming to agreement on exactly what [...]


Roundup: Family Case Study/Modified Curriculums/Paying Home Care Workers

SNA attorneys have ongoing involvement with the wide-ranging issues faced by individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Below is a sampling of posts from member blogs and newsletters. Family Case Study Planning for the long-term needs of a loved one with disabilities is a big job. Check out this case study about [...]


Back-to-School Tips for Children with Special Needs

By Tara Anne Pleat, Esq. As a new school year approaches, nerves often take center stage for many families who have children with special needs. Parents and children alike worry about teachers, the other children, homework, lunchtime and much, much more. Get Ahead of the Curve Before classes begin make arrangements to take your child [...]


Roundup: Supported Decision-Making/Bullying/Pre-Dementia Planning

SNA attorneys have ongoing involvement with a wide array of issues faced by individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Below is a sampling of posts from member blogs and newsletters. Supported Decision-Making: A Model Alternative to Guardianship? Supported decision-making is an approach to enabling individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to control the [...]


Bullying of the Special Needs Child and What Parents Can Do

Any child can be a victim of bullying or harassment, but research has shown that children with special needs are both more likely to be bullied or harassed and also more likely to be seriously harmed by it. In addition, children with special needs may be less likely to be able to seek help to [...]