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State and federal laws give certain rights to children who have special needs. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal law, categorizes 13 different disabilities that qualify for special education services:
Speech and Language Impairment
Orthopedic Impairment (Physical)
Specific Learning Disabilities
Traumatic Brain Injury
Serious Health Impairments
As a parent or caregiver, you have the legal right to a free, confidential evaluation to determine whether your child is eligible for special education services. If your child is eligible, he or she has the right to free special educational services, which may include transportation, speech therapy, and other learning aids and services. You have the right to to meet with teachers, administrators and other professionals and to participate in all decisions affecting your child’s educational program.
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The Center on Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) is developing a resource to help divorced or estranged parents work together in special education decision making. See CADRE's brief survey.
I received my law degree from Widener University School of Law and my Teaching Certifications in Special Education and Elementary Education from Immaculata University. I worked in Special Education classrooms, with an emphasis on students with Autism, Specific Learning Disability, Speech and Language Impairment, Emotional Disability, and Preschool Developmental Delay.
I have hands-on experience using researched principles of effective instruction including: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Direct Instruction, Fluency Based Instruction and the Analysis of Verbal Behavior (VB). I received intensive training through the PA Technical Training and Assistance Network’s (PaTTAN) Autism Initiative ABA Supports (formerly the Verbal Behavior Project).
I volunteer for the Wills for Heroes Program and the Greystone Manor Therapeutic Riding Center
✥ The Pennsylvania Bar Association’s:
☛ Legal Services for Exceptional Children Committee
☛ Legal Services to Persons with Disabilities Committee
☛ Education Law Section
✥The Lancaster Bar Association