Attorney Wurtman advises parents whose questions and concerns are on continuum from the first awareness of concern to complete dissatisfaction with options presented by school district. Parents contact her for any of the following reasons:
- they sense that something is wrong and they don’t know what to do.
- they request testing or services and their requests are denied
- they are concerned that their children are not making progress
- they do not feel that their communication with the school district is positive or constructive
- a private evaluator recommends a private placement and the district refuses
- the district seeks to unilaterally withdraw special education services
- advice on ways to monitor a child’s progress and a school district’s compliance with an IEP
Here are examples of situations in which clients requested consultations. These descriptions have been altered to protect the privacy of my clients:
- A teacher has insisted that a client medicate her first grader with Ritalin.
- Parents frequently decline offers for play dates with a particular 5 year old boy.
- An 8 year old girl has a three-year delay in reading comprehension.
- A 15 year old boy who was clinically depressed has abused prescription and illegal drugs.
- A client was asked to remove her grandchild from the local school due to concerns about his behavior.
- A client, who has significant cognitive impairment and schizophrenia, is not attending school because she is experiencing medication side-effects.
- A 12 year old client with psychiatric illness has threatened to kill his parent and has put his hands around his father’s neck.
- A 3 year old boy with autism requires a full-day program school that will provide intensive behavioral training.
- A 15 year old boy refuses to attend school and his parents wonder whether he could be anxious.
- A 14 year old girl, who achieved high grades in 8th grade, is failing all of her classes in 9th grade.
- A 6 year old boy , who was reading when he was 3, does not know how to read, now that he is in the first grade.
- A 3 year old girl screams when her bread touches other food that is on her plate.
- A 5 year old child sits under the tables and kicks the other children during ‘free play’ time at kindergarten.
- A 17 year old boy who has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, plans to live in a residence at a 4-year college. His family is concerned that his social skills and Executive Function Deficits may present challenges.
- A 19 year old boy who has depression and Autism Spectrum Disorder withdrew from college after 2 months.
- The psychiatric staff at the therapeutic residential school does not appear to be providing appropriate medical treatment to a 13 year old boy.
- A 9 year old who has a chronic medical illness requires accommodations in order to attend school.
Attorney Wurtman will utilize her knowledge of child development, special needs, Autism Spectrum, mental illness, and the law to guide parents to figure out how the next steps.
Attorney Wurtman will provide ongoing oversight and monitoring into your child’s special education plan. She will also consult with you about ensuring that the goals and strategies in the plan shift according to your child’s progress.