Time & Space
Where Are We In Time & Space? is a question I asked myself today. January in New York can get cold and gloomy, especially last week when we endured haltingly cold, near-zero temperatures, "bomb cyclones," and powerful gales of wind. Right now, the days are short, the trees are bare, the streets are slushy, the people are clad in boots and heavy clothing, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may be kicking in (it's not lost on me that that acronym spells the very word that the disorder describes). We are crashing hard after the Christmas/New Year's peak and counting down the days to President's Week.
But we have to push on and our law firm is doing just that. Mid-way through the 2017-2018 school year, we are taking stock of the statuses of our clients' cases. We have litigated and prevailed in numerous impartial hearings of different kinds. We have successfully resolved transportation issues. We have negotiated substantial settlements with school districts. We are continuing to file due process complaints to move our clients' matters forward and we are confident about our ability to achieve positive outcomes.
At our law office, our team has been meeting on a weekly basis to discuss where cases stand and how to address our clients' needs. We have been thinking creatively and collaboratively about how to approach our clients' cases in order to achieve the results that our clients seek. Our team is working diligently to attend to our clients and guide them through NYC's special education gauntlet.
I am pleased that clients have been coming in to our office for in-person meetings to discuss the current school year, review their children's progress or lack thereof, and map out next steps. These face-to-face interactions have been energizing for our team. If you have not yet come in, please reach out about scheduling an appointment.
As we collectively trudge through the rest of winter, and the 2017-2018 school year, our law office would like to remind you about a few points concerning your child's education:
Timing: It is not too early to start thinking about your child's program and placement for the 2018-2019 school year.
Communication: Continue to speak with your child's teachers and providers to ensure that he/she is making progress. At any point between now and the end of the school year, you may learn that your child is struggling in the classroom and perhaps not receiving adequate programming, services, supports, or interventions. Updated testing may be necessary or your child's program may need to be modified. Keep an eye out for red flags, which could include poor grades, acting out, boredom/frustration, social/emotional withdrawal, etc.
Testing and Applications: Psychological evaluations can take time and require planning. For instance, in some cases it can take 1-2 months to obtain an appointment, and several weeks more to complete testing and reporting. School admissions applications require planning too. Leave yourself enough time to complete these processes and adequately plan next steps.
IEP Meetings: IEP meetings are being scheduled and will be held over the next few months leading up to the start of the 2018-2019 school year. Be prepared to attend them and make sure that the appropriate individuals from your child's current program are prepared to attend the meetings as well. Make sure that you have all your ducks in a row, including updated paperwork, to increase the likelihood that you will secure the supports that your child needs.
Resources: We pride ourselves on being a one-stop-shop of sorts and we can put you in touch with the right professionals. These professionals will help you understand why your child is struggling and what kinds of supports your child needs in order to progress.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us to discuss your situation and figure out what steps you should be taking. In the meantime, stay warm and safe. We look forward to speaking with you soon.