The Office of Special Education Programs of the United States Department of Education (“OSEP”) issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” letter on July 6, 2015 regarding speech-language services and evaluations for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Continue reading
A Brookline family has just prevailed in a decision issued by the BSEA’s newest hearing officer, Amy Reichbach, finding that the district’s program did not provide a FAPE and ordering Brookline to place the student at the RCS Learning Center in Natick. In Re: Jacqueline, BSEA #1408578. Attorney Dan Heffernan of our firm represented the family in this close, complex, and hard-fought case. The decision highlights many of the types of issues that frequently arise where districts struggle to address the severe and multifaceted needs of children who require intense, systematic, consistent, and comprehensive services and need to be with peers who will provide for mutual learning and progress. Districts do their best to meet such needs in most cases, but the lack of a sufficient cohort of students with comparable needs and the incompatibility of the normal structure of a regular school setting – generally open and flexible, expecting growing independence from all students – often make it difficult for a severely involved child to make meaningful progress. Continue reading
Here is a great fellowship opportunity for individuals on the Autism Spectrum who are between 18 and 26 years old:
Massachusetts Advocates for Children invites young adults 18-26 on the Autism Spectrum to apply for an innovative Young Adult Leaders Fellowship which provides opportunities to learn the professional skills needed to advocate on behalf of other youth with disabilities. The Fellowship is a partnership between Massachusetts Advocates for Children and the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston. The Young Adult Leaders Fellowship consists of one year part-time advocacy training under the supervision of the Autism Project Advocate and senior attorney. A small stipend is provided.
Please see the fellowship application for more information.
For parents of kids on the Autism Spectrum who are younger than nine years old, the Children’s Autism Waiver Program can be a great way to access additional services. Applications must be postmarked between October 7, 2013 and October 18, 2013. Please see the attached notice or call the Autism Support Center in your area for more information.