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On the CASE

March 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 Evanston CASE by shopping at Amazon.

From the Director's Desk
We have added a new link to our website and newsletter. CASE is an official charity with Amazon Smile. 

Amazon will automatically give .5% of your purchase to CASE.  

If you plan to make a purchase through Amazon, scroll down the left sidebar on our newsletter and you will see the link on the bottom.  Click and you will be taken directly to our link on Amazon Smile. You can also go to our "Support Us" page on the CASE website ( to find the link.  

Every little bit helps and we really appreciate your support!

Support Group Thursday!
March Parent Connections Meetings

Parent Connections support groups will meet:

Thursday, March 9th
Brown Bag Lunch: 11:30-1:00
Evening Meeting: 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!
It's Time to Get Organized!
Preparation = Less Stress

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

We will teach you how to use an easy system that you can update each year. Organization sessions can be provided individually or in a small group format (2-3 people).  Bring your documents, no matter what state they are in.  CASE will help you determine what is important to keep and how to use the documents to your best advantage.   The fee $50 per person. Organization binder and 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   

How To Help Your Child Get Started On Homework
From Beyond BookSmart
Executive Functioning Strategies Blog
By Dan Messier

"One of the reasons it's so hard to get started on homework (or other undesired activities) is that we don't know when we're going to finish.  Because of that, starting that project you've been putting off feels like tumbling into an abyss of endless non-fun time, rather than just one small part of a regular day. So, when  motivating your kids  (or yourself) to start something work-related, it might be just as worthwhile to talk about when it's going to end as when it's going to begin. This makes the commitment concrete and bite-sized."

Read more HERE

Exaggerated Emotions: How and Why ADHD Triggers Intense Feelings

By Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D., author of Smart but Stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD

"Challenges with processing emotions start in the brain itself. Sometimes the working memory impairments of ADHD allow a momentary emotion to become too strong, flooding the brain with one intense emotion." Thomas Brown, Ph.D., explains why (and how) ADHD sparks such intense emotions."

Click HERE

Cari Levin, LCSW, Special Education Advocate
What Do I Do When?
The School Says My Child No Longer Needs An IEP
Spring IEP season has begun.  You may encounter a situation in which the IEP team recommends that your child switch to a 504 Plan instead of an IEP.  Their reasoning may be that your child no longer requires or qualifies for special education services.

I have encountered this while advocating for parents particularly with students who have learning disabilities.  Here is what you can do:

  • The school cannot take away an IEP unless they have evaluation data that shows your child no longer needs services and supports.  Ask for this data.  If they do not produce any, or it is not satisfactory them move to step 2.

  • Ask for something called "Prior Written Notice".  This will require the team to put in writing their reasons for denying continuance of an IEP (or anything else they want to change that you don't agree with).

  • Contact Evanston CASE and schedule a consultation to learn more about your rights. provides a description of Prior Written Notice:

"Removal from special education requires  prior written notice from the school. The school district must tell you in writing." 
IDEA 2004 states:
(c) Notification Requirements-
(1) Content of Prior Written Notice - The notice required by subsection (b)(3) shall include-
(A) a description of the action proposed or refused by the agency;
(B) an explanation of why the agency proposes or refuses to take the action and a description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the agency used as a basis for the proposed or refused action;
(C) a statement that the parents of a child with a disability have protection under the procedural safeguards of this part and, if this notice is not an initial referral for evaluation, the means by which a copy of a description of the procedural safeguards can be obtained;
(D) sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of this part;
(E) a description of other options considered by the IEP Team and the reason why those options were rejected; and
(F) a description of the factors that are relevant to the agency's proposal or refusal.
State of Illinois Special Education Funding Plan
From Beverley Johns, Special Education Advocate 

Bev reports:

(1) The Illinois State Senate Grand Bargain appears to be dead.
(2) An Amendment has been drafted to House Bill 2808 to
maintain Special Education Personnel Reimbursement in the
School Code (in State law).
(3) The Illinois House has formed a NEW task force -
Speaker Michael J. Madigan is forming a bipartisan House task force to continue working on an equitable education funding formula and address questions a state commission recently left unanswered.
"The question of how Illinois funds our public schools is one that affects every community in our state," Madigan said. "As such, the entire process for making formula changes - from crafting an overall outline for reform, to working through the specific details - needs to be carefully considered by legislators from across the state.

"This task force will continue House Democrats' commitment to vetting these decisions and making sure all voices are heard."....

House Democrats serving on the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission recently noted that aspects of the Commission's final report failed to clearly reflect the group's discussions.

Among other concerns, the report did not properly recognize that Illinois' current school funding system is broken, in large part, because of over-reliance on property taxes and under-funding from the state. Illinois' property tax dollars account for 67 percent of all education spending, while the nationwide average is 45 percent. Without reform that acknowledges this over-reliance on property taxes, the current education funding system will continue to be regressive compared to states with less property tax reliance.

Learn more about Beverley Johns at: