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February 2017

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Evanston Citizens for Appropriate Special Education (CASE) provides Community, Advocacy, Support and Education for families affected by special needs.


CASE is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.


Support Group Thursday!
February Parent Connections Meeting

Parent Connections support group will meet:

Thursday, February 9th
Brown Bag Lunch: 11:30-1:00


At 1940 Sherman Ave. Suite A, Evanston.  If you need further directions, call 847-566-8676 or email

Hope you can join us!
It's Time to Get Organized!
Preparation = Less Stress

Whether you are new to the world of special education, or your child is transitioning to a new school, or you are a veteran of the process, a CASE organization session can help you achieve your educational goals for your child.   Reduce your stress and walk into your meeting prepared and confident! 

Organization sessions will be provided in a small group format (2-4 people).  Bring your documents.  CASE will help you determine what is important to keep and how to use the documents to your best advantage.  The fee will be $50 per person. Organization materials will be provided.

Space will fill up fast, so don't wait until the last minute! To schedule an appointment, call (847) 556-8676 or email us at   

Free Webinar:
Overcoming Dysgraphia and Writing Challenges in Students with ADHD

On Tuesday, February 7th, at noon.  FREE expert webinar with Kendra Wagner, M.A..
If you can't participate on the 7th, you will receive a link to watch the webinar any time. 

"Dysgraphia and written expression challenges are common in children with ADHD. For these kids, staring at a blank page can feel like torture because writing - even planning to write - requires simultaneously drawing on lots of skills, many of which are not immediately accessible to children with attention deficit. When writing, a child needs laser focus, as well as grapho-motor fluency, organization strategies, proper syntax and grammar, working memory, word-finding ability, and sentence variety. Oh, and spelling. But armed with the right strategies, teachers and parents can help children with ADHD overcome writing challenges."

To register, click HERE
Graphic Organizers For Young Writers

From Beyond Book Smart: Executive Functioning Strategies Blog
By Pia Cisternino, Jan 23, 2017 

"Many people, including students diagnosed with  ADHD , students with  high-functioning ASD , and students who are  twice exceptional  (intellectually gifted students with special education needs) find that executive function skills are far from second nature. But when equipped with the proper tools and support, the same students can become effective writers. A graphic organizer is one of the tools that executive function coaches use to enable students to organize and plan their writing."

To read more, click HERE

When Kids With Mental Illness Can't Live at Home
From the Washington Post, Jan 31, 2017

"In 2015, 271,000 children ages 12 to 17  received care for mental illness at a residential treatment facility. 13 percent of American children ages 8 to 15 will experience a severe mental disorder,  according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. More children in this country have a psychiatric disorder than have cancer, diabetes and AIDS  combined, and for the most severely affected, residential treatment is the best way to ensure their safety and help them stay out of the juvenile justice system."

"However, families that send their child to residential treatment programs often face judgment and misunderstanding. Mental illness, which is often treated as a taboo topic, is even more stigmatized in its youngest victims."

To read the entire article, click HERE

Anxiety and Depression inTeenage Girls

"Anxiety and depression occur in both genders, but by the teenage years, girls are much more at risk than boys. Before puberty, the prevalence of mood disorders is about the same in boys and girls-3 to 5 percent. But by mid-adolescence girls are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with a mood disorder as boys, with the prevalence at adult levels, 14 to 20 percent."

"In addition to the disorders themselves, there are add-on effects that may cause lifelong issues. With depression comes low energy and poor concentration, two factors that are likely to have a significant impact on social and academic functioning. Anxiety, and the withdrawal that may accompany it, is likewise a detriment to social and academic progress."

"It's easy to see the effects of poor academic functioning: falling behind in school undermines a child's confidence and self-image, and can impact her future if it's prolonged. But social learning is just as critical as academic learning in childhood and adolescence. This is a time when a girl would normally be learning such things as how to be a daughter, a sister, a friend; with either depression or anxiety, she may miss or fall behind on these critical kinds of learning. These deficits not only put her behind her peers, but in themselves they can compound her depression or anxiety."

Read the entire article HERE

Accommodations for College Board Testing and AP Exams

The College Board has overhauled its request process for testing accommodations, making it easier for eligible students to receive the support they need on College Board assessments.
Beginning January 1, 2017, the vast majority of students who are approved for and using testing accommodations at their school through a current Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan will have those same accommodations automatically approved for taking the SAT ®, PSAT 10, PSAT/NMSQT ®, SAT Subject Tests , and AP ®Exams.

To learn about the process, click HERE

Yes, Your Student Has a Right to Accommodations in AP Classes

Too often parents are advised that their students shouldn't take AP classes because they are too rigorous for a student with a disability, or are told that they could not have accommodations in AP classes. This simply isn't true.

OCR (Office for Civil Rights) says - "The practice of denying, on the basis of disability, a qualified student with a disability the opportunity to participate in an accelerated program violates  both Section 504 and Title II."

This "Dear Colleague" letter from the OCR outlines the legal requirements schools must comply with in regard to providing accommodations and special education supports in AP classes.

Read the Wrightslaw article HERE