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November 2017

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Evanston Citizens for Appropriate Special Education (CASE) provides advocacy, support and education to improve the lives of Evanston families impacted by disability.
 


 

CASE is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.


 


 

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Hello CASE community,

This month we are kicking off our new column, "What Do I Do When..."  We will provide you with a commonly reported scenario and a self advocacy strategy to respond.

We are also looking for volunteers for our new Parent Partners Program.  See more below.

I hope you find the information in this newsletter helpful.

Cari Levin, LCSW
Founding Executive Director
Evanston CASE

"What Do I Do When..."
"What Do I Do When..."
The school team suggests changing some of my child's service minutes to "consult."

Watch out because it could mean that they are reducing your child's services!!

Consult minutes are very different from direct service minutes.  You will find this information in your child's IEP on the "Current School Year" or "Next School Year" page.  It has four box grid  indicating when, where and from whom your child will receive their services and supports.

The school team may say, "Your child has made great progress in Speech therapy, so they don't need  to be pulled out of the classroom."  Or, "We think your child could benefit from services being provided in the gen ed classroom.  It's more inclusive."  The subtext may be that the Speech therapist is overburdened and they need to reduce their caseload while still showing compliance with providing the service.

Read the minutes carefully because there is a BIG difference!!  Consult minutes are typically provided monthly rather than weekly.  They are designed to support the gen ed teacher to implement the service in the classroom.  For example, if your child receives 60 minutes a week of Speech and they change it to 45 minutes a week with 15 minutes a month consult, that is a significant reduction in services.

So, what can you do?

1. Push back by asking for data that proves your child's needs have changed.
2.  Agree to adding consult without reducing individual/small group minutes. Think of it as a transition.
3.  If you don't agree, make sure they record your concern in the meeting notes and ask to revisit your child's progress in 4-6 weeks.
4. Bring in a private Speech therapist (or provide their recommendations in writing) to assert your child's need for continued direct services.

If you have trouble dealing with this scenario, CASE can help!  Contact us at (847) 556-8676 or mail@evanstoncase.org.

Anatomy of an IEP: Dissecting Your Child's Plan
Did you miss this presentation?
Get a copy!


If you missed our presentation, "Anatomy of an IEP: Dissecting Your Child's Plan, let us know if you'd like a copy of our PowerPoint.  

Understanding how to read your child's IEP and how to use it as an advocacy tool is essential to your effective participation in the IEP process.

If you'd like assistance in reviewing and using your child's IEP, make an appointment in the CASE Advocacy and Education Clinic by calling (847) 556-8676 or email at mail@evanstoncase.org.
 
CASE Parent Partners Program


Would you be interested in supporting other parents in school meetings?  Do you feel you would have some experience to offer?

If so, CASE is currently developing a program for parents to support other parents.

School meetings are stressful and overwhelming.  No one should have to attend them alone!  Having another person on your side of the table is empowering. Volunteering to be a Parent Partner would be a great help to others.
 
Cari Levin will provide brief training to ensure your comfort level and clarity regarding the limits and scope of this responsibility.  You would be called upon when needed, based on your availability.
 
Please contact us if you are interested.  (847) 556-8676 or mail@evanstoncase.org.  

SAVE THE DATE
Join us for Parent Connections Support Group
Thursday, December 14th
 
 
If you haven't had a chance to attend a Parent Connections Support Group yet, give it a try!  Meet with others who "get it" and share resources and advice.

From September to May, we will meet on the second Thursday of every month. 

We offer two times: 
Brown Bag Lunch from 11:30-1:00 and 
Evening from 7:00 to 8:30.

Located at 1940 Sherman Ave. Suite A

For more information, call 847-566-8676 or email mail@evanstoncase.org.

Hope you can join us!