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On the CASE

January 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.


From the Director's Desk

Exhale!  Your child is back in school.  Even if you had a smooth winter break, it is still exhausting.  Be prepared for the possibility that some challenging behaviors may intensify until your child gets back into routine. They may have difficulty getting up in the morning, or have low motivation, moodiness and tantrums. Homework may be especially challenging. Its also a time of year when getting outside is tough due to the weather and cabin fever sets in.  

What can you do?  Label and validate their feelings ("It's tough to get back to school after relaxing and having free time"). Set small goals like increasing homework time and decreasing screen time 5 minutes a day until back to regular schedule.  If challenging behaviors increase, pick your battles. What can you ignore? Can you redirect them with something positive?  Most importantly, e ase back to expectations slowly.  

I hope you find the contents of this newsletter useful.
Cari Levin, LCSW
Founding Executive Director
Support Group Thursday!
January Parent Connections Meetings
Parent Connections support groups will meet:

Thursday, January 12th
Brown Bag Lunch: 11:30-1:00
Evening: 7:00-8:30

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

Hope you can join us!
The CASE Advocacy and Education Clinic:
What Is That?

Whether you are new to the world of special education or you are a "veteran" of the process, CASE can guide you and advise you to achieve your educational goals for your child.   Reduce your stress and walk into your meeting prepared and confident! 

We offer three types of services:
  • IEP Prep and Review Sessions: If you have a meeting coming up with the school, make an appointment for prep and review sessions. Receive help to prepare and get organized, develop a plan to address your concerns and (after the meeting) figure out your next steps.
  • Parent Self-Advocacy Sessions: You will learn from an advocate about your procedural rights, the steps of the IEP or 504 process and how to understand the IEP document. The advocate will also help you communicate effectively with the school team about your child's needs and challenges.
  • Special Education Advocacy Representation: Securing appropriate services and/or placement for your child can be difficult and at times contentious. If you need someone on your side of the table, an advocate can attend your meeting and help secure an appropriate educational plan for your child.

To schedule an appointment, call (847) 556-8676 and ask for Cari Levin.  Clinic services are billed at $100 a session.  Sliding scale and payment plans can be arranged.

Getting Your Child To Listen Without Nagging

"How can we make it easier for our children to  cooperate the first time we ask and to make it harder for them to forget or to ignore us or to argue back? Wouldn't it be great if there were a technique that would help our children understand what they need to do, remember what they need to do, and actually do what they need to do, without reminders? A simple tool called a "think-through" is the key to achieving all of these goals."  

Cari Levin's thoughts on this:
I don't think this is appropriate for an older child, so I would suggest a modification to the idea.  If you tell your child, "Hey, I don't want to nag you, but..." or, "Look out I'm about to nag you..." Then follow up by asking them to, "But seriously, tell me what I said so I can make sure I communicated clearly".  In other words, you own the communication as a way to get them to pay attention.  I've found that a sense of humor can change up the interaction.

To read more, click HERE

Presentation: "Executive Function Skills Foundation for Success"
From Beyond Book Smart
Executive Functioning Strategies Blog

"Students who have a wobbly foundation in executive function skills may have trouble reaching their true academic potential; in essence, they are always making quick temporary repairs to their shaky foundation by asking for extensions on assignments or  begging for bailouts from parents."
"Parents often find themselves faced with a dilemma of either constantly helping their children make these 'quick fixes' or watching them flounder and struggle. The real solution is for students to learn the skills that help them be productive organized."

To read about strategies, and to download their Project Planner Template, click HERE

Presentation: "Solutions for Problem Behavior Associated With Autism"
January 12th
Autism Home Support Services presents:

Meaningful Solutions for Problem Behavior Associated With Autism with Greg Hanley, Ph.D

Parent Presentation
Thursday, January 12, 2017 6:30-8:30 pm
Northfield Park District 401 Wagner Road, Northfield, IL 60093

If you are unable to attend in person, register for the webinar.

Here is the flyer for more information:  FLYER
Supreme Court to Rule on Level of Benefit that
Special Education Must Provide Under the IDEA
Written By Jill Calian, Special Education Attorney and CASE Board President


"As parents and caregivers of children with special needs, we should all be aware that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to grant review in a special education case.  This case (Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1) will require the Court to decide how much educational benefit must be provided to students who receive services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA")." 

"In 1982, The Supreme Court held that the education that a child with a disability receives must confer "some educational benefit" and the benefit must provide each child with "access" to an education that is "meaningful."  (Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley ("Rowley")).  The Court is now being called upon to clarify what it meant by "some educational benefit." 

To read the rest of Jill's analysis of the case, click HERE

For more information about this issue, go to Disability Scoop HERE