Author - Lara Cleary

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Back-to-school prep tips for parents of kids with special needs

For most parents, back-to-school time means buying the kids a new backpack and shoes, and maybe taking them for a haircut. For parents of kids with special needs, however, going back-to-school can be much more stressful for both them and their children than just a shopping trip to
the mall. Children who are not successful in school, either for emotional/behavioral or academic reasons, often feel happier and calmer over the summer break when they are not dealing with the demands of school...

Posted on August 09, 2018 at 7:00 AM by Lara Cleary

Kids with special needs in private schools can get services. Here's how.

As special education attorneys, we frequently receive calls from parents who want to know whether their children with special needs are entitled to any services or accommodations at private schools. Unlike students in public schools, students with disabilities in private schools are generally not entitled to an IEP under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), however, there are a few options available that parents may want to explore.  

Individual Service Plans: The ID...

Posted on May 01, 2018 at 10:52 AM by Lara Cleary

Tips for your next IEP meeting from a special-ed attorney

After working as a special education teacher for a few years, I attended law school with the sole intention of becoming a special education attorney who represented parents of children with special needs. In 1998—right out of law school—I was lucky enough to get a job doing just that.

For years, I attended hundreds of IEP meetings involving all types of special education issues. However, about five years ago, my perspective and practice were forever impacted when my own child was diagn...

Posted on February 05, 2018 at 12:49 PM by Lara Cleary

Your school should be helping your child with behavior challenges

Now that it's fall, the days are getting shorter and the honeymoon period for your child’s return to school has ended. Maybe you've begun to receive calls and e-mails from teachers and school administrators that your child is not following directions, is being disruptive in class, or is struggling generally. The school district may also be mentioning possible disciplinary action toward your child. You know that your child needs help, but what can you ask for and what are your child’s righ...

Posted on November 14, 2017 at 12:14 PM by Lara Cleary