June 19, 2018
It is with great pleasure that I recommend Dr. Barry Levine to any person who is fighting for what's best for a child with special needs.
For the past 6 years I was attempting to work with our district's child study teams. I knew something was wrong but I had no idea as to how I could get help. What I did know was that my child was in the 5th grade and was reading on a 2nd grade level.
I was referred to Levine Associates by friends of mine. Instantly, I knew Dr. Levine was someone I could believe in and trust to have my son's best interest at heart. He well understood the struggle, frustration and misguidance that parents of special needs kids are handed.. He was unbelievably supportive and listened to all of what I had to say and he was honest and frank with me about the options and what each of those may cost. His experience and knowledge of each and every right afforded to my child by both the State and Federal Government was overwhelming.
Finally, somebody had the answers and he was willing to fight for me! This was all very good news, because I was exhausted from fighting the school.
When he sits down with school staff they immediately recognize that they are dealing with someone who knows every aspect of special education code.
You need an educator at the meeting who knows what to ask regarding all aspects of your child's iep or 504 plan.
"Reading disabilities are the most understood and effectively corrected learning disability ... [but] if help is delayed until third grade, children rarely catch up with their peers ... 75% of children who were poor readers in the 3rd grade remained poor readers in the 9th grade .
Dr. Levine’s career started as an Elementary Teacher in 1967. By the time he was 25, he was one of the youngest principals in New Jersey and followed this passion for twenty years. His final years were spent as a Director of Special Education.
Upon his retirement 1993 he pursued a Masters Degree and became a certified reading specialist.
He also became an Orton Gillingham therapist. He had the honor of being taught by Alett Cox a friend of Anna Gillingham, He rode back and forth every day from South Jersey to Columbia University, Teachers College,in New York City. He completed 820 hours of supervised instruction.
All of this makes him one of the most qualified advocates in the nation.
This is the fast-talking wordsmith (used car salesman?) in an IEP meeting.This is the kind of person that talks in circles so most parents, who don’t have support at IEP meetings, are given very little opportunity to question decisions because they won’t allow it. They are unable to think flexibly and do not like it when there is someone in the room who knows more than they do– They are the expert, no wait,they are the dictator.
For the past twenty seven years, I have worked with hundreds of families of students with special needs. Every time I think I have seen the worst case of unethical behavior another case comes along that is even more disturbing.
Here are comments I often hear that are really the IEP Team’s way of denying your child services.
Your child is your life. But what happens when your child with special needs isn’t progressing in reading? What happens when the school district decides to take services away from your child? What happens when the school isn’t following your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP)?
By law, your child with special needs is entitled to appropriate educational services. But the school district may make decisions you don’t agree with. Trust your instincts – if you think your child isn’t receiving an appropriate education, let me HELP YOU.
If you are like most parents, you trusted the advice and recommendations from your school staff. Now you have come to realize that you cannot trust their advice. From your perspective the schools program is damaging your child as your child falls further and further behind. Under these circumstances feelings of anger and betrayal are nearly inevitable.
Are you worried that your child needs special education services? Does your child already have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) but you are feeling that something isn’t right? Do you feel like the IEP team is speaking another language and you don’t know where to turn?
Parents Are Natural Advocates For Their Children
Who is your child’s first teacher? You are. Who is your child’s most important role model? You are. Who is responsible for your child’s welfare? You are. Who has your child’s best interests at heart? You do.
You know your child better than anyone else. The school is involved with your child for a few years. You are involved with your child for life. You should play an active role in planning your child’s education. The law gives you the power to make educational decisions for your child. Do not be afraid to use your power.
After an IEP Meeting Have You Ever Left Your School Wondering. What just happened?
What did I sign?
Is my child getting the best possible services?
Am I asking the right questions?
Does this plan truly meet my child’s needs?
You may have experienced these factors that have created a crisis for your child.
Placed your child in a program that he doesn’t belong in despite your objections
Refused to provide necessary services because these services are expensive but would establish a precedent.
Refused to consider or include private professionals recommendations in the IEP
Terminated the child from special education after the child’s IQ scores dropped because there is no longer a severe discrepancy between the child’s ability and achievement scores.
Caused the child to be arrested at school and suspended or expelled the child for behavior that is related to the child’s disability.
The information contained on this website is not intended as legal advice but to provide a general understanding of the process from a purely educational perspective, as it pertains to special education for students with disabilities, parents of students with disabilities and attorneys who are new to special education practice.
This website or links to articles is not intended to and should not be substituted for legal advice of any sort and should not be relied upon as legal advice. The information on this website should not be relied upon with the expectation of an automatic or even an improved chance of a prevailing party decision in a special education due process hearing, nor does it promise or warrant any particular result if the educational tips contained herein are followed whether they are used as written or used as modified by you or an attorney .
To attain legal advice as to the individual circumstances of your individual case, please consult with an attorney of your choice who is licensed in your state and knowledgeable about special education matters and the individualized history and facts of your particular case.