SPECIAL EDUCATION ADVOCACY FOR YOUR CHILD AND YOUR FAMILY

Phone: 609-839-0049

Fax: 609-653-9588

E-mail: drlevine@iep504.com


60 MINUTE FREE CONSULTATION

One of hundreds of testimonials.

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.



Dr.Levine Obtained An Out of District Placement For My DYSLEXIC Child.

"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 .

EXPERIENCE MATTERS

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.

Beware of the Gatekeepers - Their Job is to Say "No!

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.

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Warning Signs the IEP Team is NOT Doing Their Job!



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.


  1. “Your child is not eligible for special education because she is doing fine academically.” IDEA specially states that grades and performance are irrelevant to determining if a student needs special education services.
  2. “The IEP goals are all written, all you need to do is sign that you approve.”Instead of involving you in the process of developing goals, the IEP Team is all prepared when you arrive. IDEA explicitly states that parents should be involved in the development process.
  3. “You should take your child to the doctor and request medication.” It is illegal for the school to suggest your child should be on medication. They are not doctors and are not qualified to determine that child should be medicated.
  4. “We decided your child no longer needs xyz services, so we are stopping them.” IDEA states that removal of services requires a formal evaluation, data and an iep meeting. They cannot remove services just because they think they should.
  5. “We don’t have that service at our school.” The I in IEP stands for individualized, so if your child needs a service they do not have, they need to arrange another way for your child to get it.
  6. “We believe your child should be in a self-contained classroom because she is difficult to handle.” A self-contained placement may not be the least restrictive environment. (LRE). A general ed class with aide support may be better.IDEA requires them to evaluate and use data to determine which placement is optimum for the child
  7. “I need to take this to my supervisor to get permission to increase services.” IDEA procedural safeguards require that a school district administrator be present at the IEP meeting so these kinds of decisions can be made.
  8. “We are keeping the same goal because he has not made progress and we have to keep working on it.” Lack of progress in a year is a sign that the goal or remediation method is not appropriate. The IEP team should discuss alternative options so the child makes meaningful progress. It’s important to organize all information in an IEP binder so you are ready to show evidence of progress.
  9. “This is a charter school, so we don’t have the resources to serve a student with special education needs.” Any school that receives government funding must provide support for special education services. They cannot refuse a child just because their support services are not already in place.
  10. “We are not allowed to assess your child for anIEP unless we first try RTI (response to intervention).” Unfortunately this statement has been so overused the Department of Education actually put out a memo clarifying that RTI cannot be used to delay or deny evaluation for special education services. Click here to read the memo. Assessment for an IEP and RTI can be done simultaneously. This way if the RTI is not successful, the child will get support as soon as possible.
  11. “We will not accept your parent concerns for the IEP because we disagree with what you have written.” The procedural safeguards for IEPs say that a parent can give their input to the IEP. The IEP Team may not censure what the parents write. Get a copy of your states procedural safeguards.

 KNOW YOUR CHILD’S RIGHTS!


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.  


Find out more

DR. LEVINE REGULARLY ATTENDS SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW CONFERENCES AND HAS ARGUED CASES IN THE COURTS

Understanding  NEW JERSEY AND FEDERAL IEP Law and
Special Education

 

Find out more