Do Children Have Rights in Private School?

Do children have rights in private school? Special Needs Children Have Limited Rights in Private School. Public schools (including charter schools) receive federal funding and in exchange for taking that funding, they have to abide by federal laws.  One federal law which public schools have to follow is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”).  The […]

What’s the Difference Between General Ed and Special Ed?

What’s the difference between Special Ed and General Ed? This is a great question which parents are sometimes afraid to ask. The simple answer is that general education is the typical classroom that we think of when we think of school.  Special education is more complicated because it has changed over time.  Years ago before […]

Get Comp Ed for COVID Learning Loss

Get Comp Ed for COVID Learning Loss What Is “Comp Ed”? Compensatory education is a legal concept that has been around for decades but has had renewed interest during COVID-19.  Technically it’s been a legal remedy that may be granted by a judge.  Practically, compensatory education is a tool parents should leverage.  It can make-up […]

How to Get an IEP Assessment

What is an IEP Assessment? Your Right to an Assessment Federal law (the “IDEA”) gives parents a right to a school IEP evaluation.  That right did not change during COVID.  Even if your child is in distance learning 100% of the time, they still have a right to be assessed if they have (or may […]

Don’t Let Your School Get Away with Denying an Evaluation to Your Child

Don’t Let your school deny your child an evaluation? Why Get an Evaluation Getting an evaluation is the first step in getting an IEP (an Individual Education Plan).   You can not get an IEP without an evaluation.  While you don’t need an evaluation to get a 504 Plan, you do need one to be eligible […]

What’s the Difference Between An IEP and A 504 Plan?

WHat’s the difference between an IEP and a 504 Plan? What’s the Difference? Before I get into the guidance, I just want to give you an ultra mini legal course in the difference between a 504 Plan and an IEP.  An IEP comes from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) and gives very specific […]

Can that IQ be Right? Autism and IQ

Girl glasses test

Can This IQ be right? Autism and IQ More and more often I am advocating for children on the autism spectrum who are achieving at or above grade level, but whose IQ scores show them to have below average or even cognitively impaired. The IQ score is supposed to represent a person’s ability to learn, […]

If You Think Your Child Has a Learning Disability, Do these 5 things.

If you think your child has a learning disability, do these 5 things. I am a mother and a special-education advocate, and I have dyslexia. Many parents have confided in me that they had a “hunch” that something was not right with their child. More often than not, a parent’s hunch turns out to be […]

Authority Mag Interview on Education Reform

Allison Hertog Special Education Lawyer

Authority Magazine Interview with Allison Hertog This interview of Allison Hertog is part of Authority Magazine’s series about the things that should be done to improve the US educational system. Allison Hertog comes to the fields of special education and disability law with a highly unique background. She is one of only a handful of […]

Due Process Win for Child with Epilepsy!

Happy girl in school

Due Process Win for Child with Epilepsy Today Allison Hertog won an IEP due process hearing for a special needs child with a severe form of epilepsy.  The School Board of Broward County, Florida is the fifth largest school district in the country.  It refused to follow her doctor’s instructions for an emergency and school […]

We Filed Sexual Harassment Federal Suit

We Filed (and Settled) a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit This press release was issued on January 5, 2019 when we filed this suit.  It was settled in October of the same year. (Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) with co-counsel Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP and Florida attorneys, Alice K. Nelson and […]

Win in Federal Court for Our Clients!

Today our triplet clients had another huge win against the Miami-Dade County School District – the fourth largest in the country.  We’re so thrilled to report that Judge Joan Lenard of the Federal District Court of the Southern District of Florida denied the school board’s motion to dismiss our case.  Our clients, who won a due […]

Making School Work Wins Three Lawsuits Against the 4th Largest School District in the U.S.

An Administrative Law Judge of the State of Florida Division of Administrative Hearings (Case Nos. 14­5679E, 14­5668E, 14­5669E) ruled last month that the Miami­Dade County School Board, which oversees the fourth largest school district in the country, violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for failing to adequately educate very intelligent triplets with learning disabilities […]

Charter Schools, the Time is Now to Take On Special Ed in a Big Way

Charter schools and special education. Two concepts antithetical to each other? Not in my book. A handful of public charters are already doing a bang-up job educating kids with disabilities, I swear. And some visionary charter school leaders already see special education not merely as a political liability, which it is now more than ever, […]

The Common Core and Disadvantaged Learners – Does NY Have Some Answers?

The short answer is a resounding, YES.  As you may have heard, after New York announced that their test scores under the Common Core dropped a full 30 percent, Obama’s Secretary of Education notoriously singled-out “white suburban moms” as particularly vociferous opponents of the Common Core standards – which are coming soon to a school […]

Charter Schools Have a Great Opportunity to Serve Sped Students Well

In the spring of 2012 the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a study concluding that charter schools enroll a lower percentage of special education students than traditional public schools.  The latest is that the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights has deployed “several broad compliance reviews” to address enrollment as well as legal […]

Can A Child with Behavior Problems Survive in a Typical Classroom?

This issue is really getting to me lately.  It seems I have several clients right now who have bright kids who are perfectly capable of doing well in a general education classroom but for their behavior problems.  The schools I’m dealing with often want to transfer the kids to special education classrooms which are exclusively for kids with […]

Bullying May Violate Disabled Child’s Civil Rights

Bullying is a hot topic in the news lately as well it should.   And as a special education attorney I hear about students with disabilities being bullied frequently.  See this article from StopBullingNow.com and this site EyesonBullying for good advice about what to do if your child is being bullied. The Obama administration is […]

Gov Christ Signs Law on Restraint and Seclusion of Students with Disabilities

On June 4, Gov Charlie Christ signed into law the state’s first regulations for the use of restraint and seclusion on public school students with disabilities. The law requires that a school prepare an incident report within a specified period after each occasion of student restraint or seclusion and that the school notify the student’s […]

Even If You Could Get a 1:1 Aide, Here’s Why You May Not Want One.

Even if You Could Get a 1:1 Aide, Here’s Why You May Not Want One. I hear it less now than I used to, but parents still routinely ask whether I can help their child get a 1:1 aide (meaning a paraprofessional who is ostensibly hired only to support a single child). My first response […]

What’s New in Schools? – It’s Called RtI

In this budgetary climate your school district has probably been very busy implementing some big changes – and one of the biggest directly affects how all students will be taught reading and math, but particularly impacts if and when the learning disabled get special education services. That change is known as “RtI” (Response to Intervention) […]

Finally, Some Good News for Gifted and Disabled!

Finally Some Good News for the Gifted and Disabled One of the most challenging and infuriating areas in which I practice is advocating for the gifted and disabled (called “twice exceptional”).  I feel particularly passionately about these cases because I fall into the category of twice exceptional.  I suffer from multiple learning disabilities.  When I […]

RtI – the details

RtI is a 3-tiered process of increasingly intensive research- based instruction which is part of federal law (IDEA 2004). At the end of the process (Tier 3), students who are still struggling in reading, math and/or behavior will be eligible for special education services (an “IEP”). The theory of RtI, which is to catch struggling […]

Response to Intervention: Misused to the Detriment of ASD Students?

The implementation of RtI (Response to Intervention), a new way to identify students as learning disabled, may result in delay or failure to properly identify students as eligible for special education services, and in my experience some school districts have been overbroad in their application of RtI – causing students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), […]

If RtI Isn’t Working for Your Child: Knowing Your Legal Rights

Response to Intervention (RtI) is a 3-tiered process of research-based instruction, which is part of federal law (IDEA 2004). Before RtI, in order to get considered for special education services (an “IEP”) the main thing your struggling learner needed was a psycho-educational evaluation (conducted by a private or public school psychologist). The evaluation needed to show […]