The Second Circuit Concludes that the School District FAILED when it did not consider a 1:1 ABA Program for a Student

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an important decision in favor of parents.  In A.M. v. The NYC DOE, the parents of E.H., a 6 year old autistic student, provided the CSE with private evaluations and assessments all of which concluded that E.H. needed a 1:1 ABA-based program.  The school district had no evaluations or assessments that contradicted the private evaluations. Nevertheless, the DOE recommended its “default” District 75 6:1:1 autism program.  

“When the reports and evaluative materials present at the [IEP] meeting yield a clear consensus, an IEP formulated for the child that fails to provide services consistent with that consensus is not ‘reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefits.’”  

The Court concluded that school districts cannot simply place students into one of their available programs, restricting a student to those options if none of the available choices is appropriate for him/her.

This decision illustrates that it is more important than ever to have an updated, comprehensive private evaluation with clear and specific recommendations by an experienced clinician who is willing to advocate for your child’s needs at the IEP meeting, and at a hearing, if necessary. 

Please contact us to discuss whether or not now is the time for your child to have an updated evaluation.

IEP Meeting Season is Upon Us

IEP meeting season is now here and we are ready to advise you concerning your 2017-2018 case.   Here are important tips for you to keep in mind:

Stay Organized!

Begin now to gather and organize your documents in anticipation of your IEP meeting.  Make sure you have all of your child’s most recent evaluations and assessments, and share them with the District (after our review).  Also, this is the time of year that many providers and schools send out progress reports, please keep an eye out for those and send copies to our office as you receive them.    

Who Should Participate in your IEP Meeting?

Make sure you invite your child’s team to participate in the IEP meeting. Who? Your private evaluators (e.g. Neuropsychologist), the school team, and any outside providers who are working with your child. Also, ask them to prepare progress reports to share with the school district. 

Update Your Evaluations!

If your child’s private evaluation is more than two years old, you will most likely need a more recent evaluation (check with us).  Even if a full reevaluation is not necessary, at least an update to the older report may be needed for your 2017-2018 IEP meeting.  As always, please contact our office if you have any questions.    

Defer Your IEP Meeting?

If you receive a notice for an IEP meeting to take place before the end of March, you should write to the school district that it is too early in the year to determine your child’s “Present Levels of Performance” for the 2017-2018 school year and that you would like to reschedule the meeting to a date later in the Spring. As always, fax the letter and keep the fax confirmation page, please send copies of both to our office as well (www.hellofax.com works well).

We are here to help you each step of the way!

Once you receive an invitation to an IEP meeting, please contact Stephanie (stephanie@spencerwalshlaw.com) to schedule a call with one of us, so we can prep ahead of time and ensure that you are ready for your meeting.

Money Magazine Interviews Tracey Spencer Walsh

The High Cost of Coping  

by Elizabeth O’Brien and Taylor Tepper

With our new presidential administration, we do not know yet what the effects will be on the very strong and critical federal statute, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA") - the federal statute that entitles students with disabilities to a "Free Appropriate Public Education." Money Magazine recently published an article on "The High Cost of Coping" with funding for the various needs of people with mental health challenges. Our office represents students with mental health challenges and has been successful in obtaining school district funding for therapeutic day and residential programs. This article written by Ms. O'Brien and Ms. Tepper is informative. Ms. O'Brien interviewed me for the article and you can read it here at MONEY. It is important that you reach out to your Congressman and Senator to voice your opinion on ensuring that IDEA funding remains in place.

More Big Wins for Parents in NYC

Winning isn't everything - it's the only thing. ~Vince Lombardi (maybe)

When it comes to representing a child with a disability, winning is the only thing for us.  An appropriate educational program is your child's entitlement. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is an entitlement statute that ensures that once a child is determined eligible for special education services, he is entitled to a free appropriate public education. This is what we fight for every day. We fight to win. In two recent cases, we significantly prevailed on behalf of two children with autism.

In a case involving a 5 year old girl with autism, the hearing officer awarded her 460 hours of 1:1 ABA and 4 hours per month of in-home Parent Training and Counseling with a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) as a “compensatory education” award. This award is intended to compensate her for the DOE’s failure to provide her with ABA during the school-year. ABA has been proven to be effective for many children with autism. We know that this child's access to a quality ABA program will make a difference in her life.
 
Justice was also served in our case involving a 12 year old boy with autism. Based on the evidence we presented, the hearing officer awarded him 100% tuition at Manhattan Children’s Center together with 25 hours of home ABA, 4 hours per week of ABA supervision and 2 hours per week of ABA Parent Training and Counseling by a qualified ABA supervisor.

Also important to this student is the hearing officer's award of transportation to and from school in a mini wagon or car, with a paraprofessional and no more that three students in the vehicle. The hearing officer found that “the school district, which has the burden of proof, has utterly failed in its Prong 1 burden of showing that it has provided an appropriate education.” We couldn't agree more.

Key to our success in these cases was our presentation of robust clinical evidence that each of these students required an intensive level of services in order to make meaningful educational progress. A successful outcome requires a strong and qualified team of professionals who are well prepared to present the evidence.

We work as a team to achieve the result your child needs. Contact Tracey at tracey@spencerwalshlaw.com.

Autumn is the season of change



VANITA PRASHAD, REIMBURSEMENT SPECIALIST VANITA@SPENCERWALSHLAW.COM                                                212-401-1959 EXT. 701                                                                                                                                                                                               

VANITA PRASHAD, REIMBURSEMENT SPECIALIST
VANITA@SPENCERWALSHLAW.COM                                                212-401-1959 EXT. 701                                                                                                                                                                                               

COMPTROLLER STRINGER RELEASES NEW YORK CITY CLAIMS REPORT FOR FY 2015


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2016
Contact: Eric Sumberg, (212) 669-3535, esumberg@comptroller.nyc.gov

Special Education Claims:

The City is required by law to provide every child with a free, appropriate public education. If parents believe their child’s schooling does not meet that standard, they may file a claim against the Department of Education (DOE) to pay for tuition and other special-education related services. If DOE wants to settle the matter without having to litigate the case to conclusion, it must seek the Comptroller’s approval.

Settlement costs related to these special-education related claims filed against the DOE, a subset of non-tort claims described in the Claims Report, grew from $131.3 million in FY 2014 to $250.8 million in FY 2015, a 91% increase.

“Every child in our City is entitled to a free, appropriate public education and the City is legally mandated to provide that.  My office works diligently to ensure that every settlement is in the best interests of all parties,” Stringer said.  

 “Across all five boroughs, claims are the leading indicator of trouble spots that will continue to cause problems in the future. Identifying these trends now allows us to improve City services and save taxpayer dollars in the long-term,” Stringer said.

To read the full report, click here.

 

Parents as POWs? NYC Settlements Update

Are Special Ed Parents Parents Prisoners of War?

Speculation is swirling. Is a political war between Mayor de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer the reason why the Comptroller has not signed and returned scores of stipulations of settlement entered into between parents of children with disabilities and the New York City Department of Education?
 
We do not know for sure. What we do know is that whatever the reason for the delay, the effect is the same - families with children with disabilities are suffering as either the intended or unintended victims of the Comptroller’s failure to sign off on settlements.

No one in the Department of Education seems to know why settlements negotiated and agreed to are “stuck” in the Comptroller’s office. Transparency has always been a problem with NYC DOE - now we also are seeing an even more opaque Comptroller’s office.

Due to the unexplained delay, some impartial hearing officers now are requiring parents to go through with an actual hearing. At this point, this may be the speedier route to resolution and parents finally seeing the funding they were promised by the NYC DOE.

While we continue to rattle the cage on our end with the NYC DOE’s attorneys and their supervisors to obtain countersigned stipulations of settlement, we encourage YOU (parents) to contact the Comptroller’s Office directly to explain the delay, how it is affecting you and request that the Comptroller expedite the review of your child’s settlement. Being seen as a group force may make a difference.

If you have any media contacts please ask them to investigate and report on this situation.

You can reach the Office of the Comptroller at (212) 669-3916. Please provide the Comptroller’s Office with your child’s date of birth and nine-digit NYC ID number (found on your child’s IEP) .

 

 

Big Win In NYC for Student with Autism - Funding for Private Therapeutic Program and 460 Hours of 1:1 ABA

     This week, our office had an important and significant win for a 6 year old boy with Autism. “J” was awarded funding for a private therapeutic educational program that provides individualized instruction to children, reimbursement for private evaluations, air-conditioned mini-bus, and a compensatory education award of 460 hours of 1:1 ABA services after-school and on weekends!
     J had been enrolled in the 1st grade at the New York City Department of Education Mickey Mantle School which failed to meet J’s needs. J was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when he was 18 months old. He was also diagnosed with ADHD, Childhood Mood Disorder NOS, an Intellectual Disability, Learning Disorder, NOS with severe agitation, aggression coping and compliance difficulties and has “possible at-risk psychotic behaviors.”
     The private program, testified at the hearing that it could provide J with an appropriate therapeutic education. The program is a therapeutic educational program that provides individualized instruction to children and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is on site. The school also has a psychologist on staff, an art therapist, 3 speech and language pathologists, 3 occupational therapists, a contract physical therapist, and a licensed social worker. The school has 6 behavior therapists trained in ABA.
     Dr. Carol Fiorile, a Ph.D level BCBA was the expert witness who observed J in his public program and testified at the hearing in support of the parent’s request for 1:1 ABA. Dr. Fiorile’s testimony persuaded the hearing officer to award 460 1:1 ABA hours to make up for what J should have had during the school year but the DOE failed to provide.
     We had a great team who supported J and his mother and we are thrilled that J now will finally get the educational program he needs!
     Please contact me if you or someone you knows would benefit from our representation - 212-401-1959 or Tracey@SpencerWalshLaw.com.

PARENT SUMMIT ON SPECIAL EDUCATION

I will serving on the panel at the Parent Summit on Special Education

PARENT SUMMIT ON SPECIAL EDUCATION
Saturday, APRIL 2, 2016 - 9:30AM-2:30PM
Bronx High School of Law & Government - 244 East 163rd Street, Bronx, NY 10451
Come and learn from experts in special education, child advocacy, disability law, and pediatric mental health about
ways to improve the quality of special education and the well being of children with special needs, from pre-school
age to young adulthood. Attend the plenary session and hear our keynote speakers. Exciting and informative workshops
will occur after the plenary session. Free resource information will be distributed.
HOW TO REGISTER: Fax completed registration form to: (718) 537-3192
Mail form to Dr. R. Mills/Hodson Center, 1320 Webster Ave., Bronx, NY10456
OR Write to peiaconsult@gmail.com

 

Thousands of NYC Students Deprived of Special Education Services

The New York Times reports that as many as 40% of students who require special education services in NYC are not receiving them! Click HERE to read the article and report.

This is hardly surprising information for me - it is NYC's routine failure in meeting the educational needs of students with special education needs that compels me to file law suit after law suit, year after year, against NYC Department of Education.  My mission is to ensure that students with autism and other disabilities have their needs met and funded by NYC DOE.  Email me at tracey@spencerwalshlaw.com if you have experienced this problem and want my help in holding NYC DOE accountable.

Get Your “Ducks in a Row” Now

To All Families and the Professionals that work with families:

Right now is an important time of year for PLANNING for the 2016-2017 School Year.  Even though we are still working on wrapping up 2015-2016 school year issues, NOW is the time to plan for success for the 2016-2017 school year.

My advice to parents is:

1. If you haven’t already done so, it is time to schedule an evaluation with a psychologist/neuropsychologist for updated psychological testing (and testing in specific areas of suspected disability, for example, a speech and language evaluation or an assistive technology evaluation). Please discuss with me whether or not it is advisable to seek school district funding for these evaluations.
2. If your child is not yet in a private school, and you are considering a private school, visit and apply NOW (some schools deadlines may have already concluded).
3. Schedule a meeting with me to discuss BEST next steps for the 2016-2017 school year. I can help you plan for success for the 2016-2017 school year.

I have seen a record number of cases referred for settlement this year, and good planning is key. Of course, even with the best planning, your school district may decide not to settle - but this has been the exception rather than the rule in my practice.

To schedule an appointment, please contact me at tracey@spencerwalshlaw.com or call 917-566-2677. I look forward to hearing from you!

Independent Educational Consultants Association - National Fall Conference 2015

I recently attended the Independent Educational Consultants' Association's National Fall conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. I gave a presentation about how educational consultants and directors of admission at Learning Disability schools and Therapeutic Residential schools can help parents obtain funding from their school districts for these types of programs. This conference offered me the opportunity to meet with people who are committed and talented in working with students with special needs.

Therapeutic Residential Programs
The professionals from therapeutic residential programs from around the country with whom I spoke opened my eyes to the many possibilities for students who need this type of educational program. Each program is so unique, that almost no two are the same. Knowing the needs of the student is critical to determining the therapeutic residential program that is the right fit for the student. I spoke with program directors from residential schools for students with autism and discussed the various models and profile of students they serve. Just as autism is a spectrum disorder, the residential schools meet a spectrum of needs.

When it comes to emotional needs and mental health well-being, the approaches vary greatly in terms of the therapeutic approach and each is highly individualized for the student. The people I met love working with their students and the families and are deeply committed to their school's mission. A common thread among all the programs is an emphasis on family involvement - parents are an integral part to the student's participation in a residential program.

Should you have questions about these types of schools or the process involved, please contact me at tracey@spencerwalshlaw.com.

Fall Back Into School by: Tracey Spencer Walsh, Esq

The summer is slipping away as we fall back into the groove of another school year. Many of your students are returning to their schools while some of your students are beginning in a new school, and are going through a transition to what we hope will be a great fit for them where they will be and feel successful. Welcome back to school.


As Predicted:
Trend Continues Toward Settlement in NYC DOE


While I am no a seer, my prediction last spring that NYC DOE would continue in its trend to settle more cases rather than litigate them, is proving itself true. While we cannot discern all the reasons why some cases have been chosen for settlement and others have not, most of our cases have been referred for settlement in accordance with the policy announced by Mayor de Blasio’s team last August. As I had stated, there was no reason to believe that there would be a sudden about face in de Blasio’s administration to return to the Bloomberg war on special education parents, where cases were being litigated to death. I also anticipate that due to the sheer volume of cases recommended for settlement, that the process will continue to be a slow one. We of course will push, but do remember, this is NYC DOE and almost nothing moves quickly.

Plan Ahead Now For 2016-2017!

1. Get an updated Neuropsychological Examination
If your child has not had a neuropsychological exam in more than 2 years, I recommend that you begin that process in the next couple of months. The neuropsychologist that you choose should not only be a highly qualified and credentialed clinician, but should also be willing to observe your child at school, participate in the IEP meeting (even if that is only by telephone), and be willing to testify in a hearing if necessary. The clinician you choose must meet that criteria in order to help you secure funding for private school and services. Please vet your clinicians according to this advice, and should you need any recommendations, please contact me and I would be happy to share my contacts with you. tracey@SpencerWalshLaw.com.

2. Begin to Explore Private Schools and Visit Open Houses
If you are considering sending your child to a private school for the 2016-2017 school year (next year), NOW is the time to begin to look at schools, visit open houses, and apply by late fall. Many quality programs fill up fast and far in advance. If you even have an inkling that you may want to consider a private school education for your child, now is the time to investigate and start the process (and get those neuropsych evaluations done!) Should you need any assistance in selecting the appropriate private school for your child, please contact me and I can guide you. tracey@SpencerWalshLaw.com.

3. Is Your Child Approaching 18 and Will Need A Guardian?
Your child will be considered under the eyes of the law to be an independent and self-sufficient adult regardless of his or her disability and you will not have the same rights to decision making unless you secure Guardianship from the Surrogates Court. If this is your situation, please contact me so that I can help you in this process. tracey@SpencerWalshLaw.com.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act

The ABLE Act is a positive step in the direction of assisting families in financially planning for their loved one with special needs. The ABLE Act allows for the establishing of a tax-free savings account under section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code (similar to the college savings accounts).  A person may contribute up to $14,000 per year to the ABLE account. The savings account does have a $100,000 cap and generally will NOT affect SSI and Medicaid benefits. Please contact me for more information about this and setting up Special Needs Trusts for your child with a disability.

The ABLE Act (this is federal legislation and applies to all 50 states) was signed into law by President Obama in December, 2014.  New York State's version will now go before New York Governor Cuomo for his consideration. On Friday, June 19, 2015, the ABLE Act passed the New York State Assembly and New York Senate. A.7767B (same as S.4472D). The measure will now be delivered to the Governor for consideration. The IRS also issued proposed regulations on June 19th which will be in the June 22nd Federal Register.

Class Action Settlement with NYC DOE - Discipline of Students with Disabilities

As many of you know, my practice includes the representation of children with disabilities who have been suspended. You would find it hard to believe how frequently NYC DOE suspends students with disabilities for behavior that is only a "manifestation" of their disability. My practice has advocated for one particular little boy, age 7, who has been routinely suspended by his principal for "bad" behavior and has sought to circumvent his pendency entitlements to "stay put" by suspending him and sending him to an alternate site, without fulfilling his mandated IEP services.  Needless to say, we are pursuing this boy's due process entitlements.

It is with sheer delight that I share with you that recently, Advocates for Children announced a settlement with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) in a class action lawsuit on behalf of students with disabilities who are subject to disciplinary action while in City public schools.
 
The class action, E.B. v. New York City Department of Education, includes students with disabilities in New York City public schools from kindergarten through age 21. As part of the settlement, the DOE has agreed to procedures to ensure that schools are not suspending students with disabilities for behavior associated with the student’s disability and to ensure that students with disabilities receive appropriate instruction while suspended. The DOE also agreed to procedures to prevent schools from discharging or transferring from school students with disabilities for disciplinary reasons. There will be a hearing for final approval of the settlement on July 23, 2015.
 
If you are or were a NYC public school student with a disability, or are the parent/guardian of a student with disability, and you/your child were removed from class, suspended, discharged, or transferred out of a NYC public school for disciplinary reasons, your rights may be affected! For more information, read the settlement notice to class members and see the settlement agreement. If you have questions, call me or Advocates for Children directly at 973-878-4559 or email ebsettlement@gmail.com.

Unique Maternal Blood DNA Markers During Pregnancy Linked To Early Autism Diagnosis

The following is an article written by Robert Glatter, MD, that appeared in Forbes this past week.

The interrelationships and interaction of environment, genes, and parental age have all been linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Epigenetic marks–molecular tags on DNA that tell genes when to “turn on” or off—are also influenced by the interplay of genes, environment and parental age.

Maternal DNA methylation represents such a common tag, and as a result, the study of DNA methylation may provide important clues and perspectives into autism development.

Based on current thinking and research directions, prenatal development is considered the most important time period for autism risk and onset. Epidemiologists consider this a critical time to evaluate changes in DNA and thus may provide a snapshot into the factors that shape the development of autism in infants.

Research by  M.D. Fallin of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and additional colleagues, sought out to determine whether DNA methylation in mothers during pregnancy was associated with childrens’ autism symptoms at one year, based on their performance on the Autism Observation Scale in Infants (AOSI).

The researchers analyzed blood samples from 79 mothers who participated in the Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI), a pregnancy study of families at high risk for autism, because they have already had given birth to autistic children.

Fallin and his colleagues found specific DNA tags in maternal blood that were linked to the baby’s AOSI score at 12 months.

It was noted in this study that the set of DNA tags most often linked to AOSI also overlapped with genes previously implicated in development or ASD.  Nordahl’s group also recently noted associations between AOSI score and father’s sperm DNA tags–which can be influenced by environmental exposures, age, or inherited genes.

Taken together, these maternal, paternal and child findings may give further insight about the role of epigenetic influences on ASD risk.

Margaret Fallin, Ph.D, Professor and Chair, Department of Mental Health, at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and colleagues will present findings of their research, Maternal Blood DNA Methylation during Pregnancy and Autism Observational Scale for Infants (AOSI) Score at 12-Months in the Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI) at the 2015 International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR), May 13-16 in Salt Lake City.

Fallin explained that “preliminary findings show DNA methylation – tags on DNA that control when and where in the body particular genes are turned on – in mom’s blood during pregnancy may be associated with how the baby later performs on autism-related assessments at age 12 months.”

Fallin explained that their results will have to be studied in other groups in order to replicate findings seen in their research. If such results can be reproduced, it may suggest that epigenetics can offer insights into autism risk. Fallin also adds that that “it is important to consider biological samples from parents around the time of birth as well as from the baby who may be affected.”

Fallin emphasized that his group’s findings on their own will not change how patients with autism are ultimately diagnosed and managed at this point in time. As Fallin explained, “the consideration of epigenetics, and of parental biosamples around the time of birth, may shift research focus on the causes of autism in a way that could ultimately inform the biological understanding of autism and thus inform new prevention and treatment approaches.”

Fallin believes that  his findings are quite preliminary, but, “in combination with results from our group and others, point to the potential importance of epigenetic marks in understanding autism risk and to the need to examine parental biological samples near the time of birth. This highlights the need for more studies with longitudinal birth cohort designs like the EARLI study.”

“Epigenetic regulation of gene expression has long been thought to play a role in autism etiology but clear links to disease biology have largely been missing, said Mathew Pletcher, Ph.D., Vice President, Head of Genomic Discovery at Autism Speaks. “This study provides additional support for the idea that epigenetic mechanisms are disrupted in autism.  At the same time, the study also underscores the difficulty in translating this type of data into clear biologic understandings.”

Pletcher explains that additional work will need to be done in order to appreciate if the changes in methylation noted in this investigation may impact normal neurological development.”

“Scientists agree that the risk factors for autism are likely both genetic and environmental, however, the mechanism by which the two interact together has not been studied enough,” explained Alycia Halladay, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, Autism Science Foundation.

“Epigenetics, sometimes called the “ghost in our genes” is the way that environmental factors turn on or turn off gene expression, without making changes in the DNA sequence.   Methyl groups attach to specific parts of the DNA to turn on or turn off DNA expression, which can affect the way the brain forms, develops and functions.  This mechanism has shown to be instrumental in how genes and the environment contribute to cancer, obesity and schizophrenia.”

“Dr. Fallin’s group has been able to identify specific epigenetic marks in mothers during pregnancy whose child goes on to show symptoms of autism.  These findings should not be interpreted as a surrogate diagnostic test, but rather provides additional scientific evidence that the biological features of autism are seen during prenatal time windows; and shows that genetic and environmental factors, working together rather than each in isolation, affect autism risk.”

Halladay went on to explain that the research being conducted in Dr. Fallin’s lab is part of a larger effort that involves biospecimens from mothers, fathers, and children with ASD and converges with data from postmortem brain tissue.

“While different, they all are converging on the idea that epigenetic mechanisms contribute to risk of autism.  In order to turn these findings into potential preventative measures, there needs to be more research on which environmental factors target epigenetic mechanisms on genes associated with ASD,” added Halladay.

Life Journey Through Autism: Transition to Adulthood

by: Tracey Spencer Walsh, Esq
This past week, I had the privilege to meet with leaders from the learning disability, therapeutic, and autism schools from around the country at the Independent Education Consultants Association's (IECA) National Spring Conference in Baltimore, MD. I was selected to give a presentation to this group on how educational consultants and school personnel can help families secure tuition reimbursement for the learning disability and therapeutic residential schools. When educational consultants and private schools know how to help families effectively communicate with their school districts prior to speaking with an attorney, families are in a much stronger position to be successful in obtaining school district funding.

Dr. Lauren Kenworthy, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at George Washingon Medical School and who is also the Director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders gave a presentation that was insightful, practical, and helpful to those of us who are working with families of children with autism. Dr. Kenworthy and her team have written school curriculum for students with ASD and focus particularly on executive dysfunction in order to train the brain to be better organized. Their goal is to see an upward trajectory in performance across the academic, behavioral, and social domains. As more children with autism are moving into the adult world, it is our hope and goal that as adults, employers will hire people with autism, and understand their strengths, rather than focus on what are perceived deficits. The Organization for Autism Research has developed a guide so that employers can better understand the benefits a person with autism will bring to the work environment. For example:

  • A non-verbal person is less likely to verbally disrupt fellow coworkers;
  • Limited social interest will result in staying more focused on work and not wasting time;
  • A person with strong sensory preferences may enjoy working in a quiet office;
  • A very schedule or rule bound person will likely come to work on time, take breaks at the right time, and return from breaks on time;
  • Ritualistic or compulsive type people may offer excellent attention to detail and quality control.

For a copy of the OAR guide, visit my website, click here.

Copyright © 2015 Tracey Spencer Walsh, Esq, All rights reserved.
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Presentation at the Independent Education Consultants Association Conference

This past week I had the privilege of giving a presentation to educational consultants and leaders in schools for students with learning disabilities and the therapeutic residential school leaders. My presentation, "How to Help Your Clients Secure Tuition Reimbursement from School Districts," was well attended and received. Often, parents consult with schools and educational consultants before they have spoken with an attorney so it is very important that they know how to advise parents very early on.

Seeking Tuition Reimbursement for the 2015-2016 School Year? Proceed With CAUTION!

A recent federal court decision out of the Southern District Court of New York may affect how you proceed when communicating with your school district about your child's 2015-2016 IEP and school placement decisions.

The federal court essentially held that a school district is relieved of its obligation under state and federal regulations to provide parents with prior written notice of the location of the school site if the parents have expressly or implicitly communicated that their “real concern” is with the IEP program, rather than where the program will be implemented. This is problematic for many reasons. Please click here for a copy of the decision.  Also, feel free to contact me discuss this decision and its implications for you.  My email is tracey@SpencerWalshLaw.com. It is essential that you know how you should proceed with communications with your school district, prior to notifying your school district about seeking tuition reimbursement for the 2015-2016 school year.

Best,  Tracey (To make an appointment, please fill out an intake form on the right side of this page or call 917-566-2677)