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In spite of the monumental challenges facing our country, the team of Lesher and Levine are here for you – because advocacy for children with disabilities can never take a sick day. Can never be quarantined. Can never rest. With the closure of schools, and other services, few will face more challenges than children with disabilities and their families. We continue to work from our homes and have converted all of our previously scheduled appointments to telephonic or virtual meetings. We continue to schedule new appointments and we will continue to remain available by phone and email in order to ensure the unique needs of your children are met. We have stood beside you for 26 years. We continue to stand beside you today and always.
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.
At the core, special education is founded upon “free and appropriate education” to the extent where services and resources are inclusive and guided by each child’s individual needs. We believe every child is a gift, and our advocacy practices support this premise.
As a result, our advocacy services are guided by understanding, transparency, and knowing that not everyone walks a similar social, emotional, or financial path; each one of us has a different story.
So during our initial consultation, we will spend extensive time together, so you can tell your story. And by doing so, we will develop an individualized program as well as a fee schedule which will work for you and your situation.
"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.
The federal regulations for IDEA 2004 include a section (Subpart E) called Procedural Safeguards. These safeguards are designed to protect the rights of parents and their child with a IEP OR 504 plan.
The federal regulations for IDEA 2004 include a section (Subpart E) calledProcedural Safeguards. These safeguards are designed to protect the disability and, at the same time,
These are not the only procedural safeguards under IDEA, but they are the most relevant to the majority of parents. Therefore, in this series of pages on IDEA’s procedural safeguards, we will explore only eight.
The right of parents to receive a complete explanation of all the proceduralavailable under IDEA and the procedures in the state for presenting complaints.
Confidentiality and the right of parents to inspect and review the educational records of their child
The right of parents to participate in meetings related to the identification, evaluation, and placement of their child, and the provision of FAPE (a free appropriate public education) to their child
The right of parents to obtain an independent educational evaluation (IEE) of their child
The right of parents to receive “prior written notice” on matters relating to the identification, evaluation, or placement of their child, and the provision of FAPE to their child
The right of parents to give or deny their consent before the school may take certain action with respect to their child
The right of parents to disagree with decisions made by the school system on those issues
The right of parents and schools to use IDEA’s mechanisms for resolving disputes, including the right to appeal determinations
In a decisive victory for students with disabilities, the United States Supreme Court has recently issued a unanimous decision which is certain to have a wide ranging impact on students receiving special education. The decision settles a long-standing split in the law over what amount of educational progress a student in special education is entitled to receive under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”).
This case focused on a child with autism who was receiving special education services from the public school. After what his parents considered to be years of stagnation, the parents removed the student from the public school and placed him in a private school more appropriate to his needs. At his new school, the student was able to make progress on various educational goals.
Many Federal Circuit Courts have held a student is only entitled to “some” educational benefit, which was generally interpreted to mean anything beyond a “de minimis” amount of education. In stark contrast, other Federal Circuit Courts (including the Circuit Court for New Jersey and Pennsylvania) have held that a student is entitled to a “meaningful” educational benefit, which is far more demanding than “some” educational benefit. The school district in this case was arguing for the first standard, and the parents were arguing for something closer to the second.
The Supreme Court’s decision in the case affirmatively rejects the approach that students are only entitled to “some” benefit. Instead, the Court ruled that “in order to meet its substantive obligation under the IDEA, a school must offer an IEP reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” This standard embodies a requirement that the education a child receives must be substantially beneficial. Perhaps equally important, the Court reiterated the requirement of a student-centered approach to special education which requires that an IEP be developed with the student’s unique needs and abilities in mind. The Court stated that although goals for each student will be different, “…every child should have the chance to meet challenging objectives.”
Now that IEP season is upon us, parents should be fully aware that school districts cannot justify “successfully” providing special education services where the child has made little or no actual progress. In such cases, legal action may be necessary to obtain different, additional or compensatory education services as well as other remedies.
An FBA is a functional behavioral assessment. It represents an attempt to look beyond the obvious interpretation of behavior as "bad" to determine what function it may be serving for a child. Quite often, understanding why a child behaves the way they do is the first step to developing strategies to prevent the behavior.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.
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.
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