The Child & Family  Law Center

Newsletter Spring, 2016
April is Autism Awareness Month
Autism Reflection - A Twenty Year Retrospective

Twenty one years ago, I started this practice and the next phase of my life. In the previous decades, it was estimated that 4-5 children in 10,000 suffered from an autism spectrum disorder. My first due process case and appeal involved a young child with autism. ( T.H. v. Palatine) At that time, autism was relatively rare and the subject of many myths and few resources for treatment. Fortunately, my clients were resourceful and did their homework. They were one of the first families I knew who began an intensive Applied Behavior Analysis program of intervention. The schools refused to provide or fund ABA. Insurance funding was non-existent and parents were struggling in the dark. Many families gravitated toward any program that offered some glimmer of hope for intervention and even cure. Autism was not yet a household word or the subject of fundraisers and schools designed specifically for that population. Families hired lawyers like myself to fight for services in the schools.

Autism and the Justice System

For the past twenty years, our office has represented many individuals on the autism spectrum. As those children grew into adolescence and young adulthood, some of them found themselves involved in the criminal justice system. Their parents were shocked that they were not receiving any special  consideration  because of their autism. In order to provide a context for the types of issues that cause an arrest, the following are some  examples  of the kinds of cases where we represented these young people:

New Laws that Impact Special Education

Effective January 13, 2016

Specific Learning Disability:
Dyslexia. This section defines dyslexia and provides that it is one of the several disorders included as a specific learning disability.
Special Needs Divorce

Divorce and custody issues impact many families and can be particularly daunting for parents of children with special needs. There are many more moving parts and no formulaic solutions for these unique families. I now devote a portion of my practice to divorce, parentage and post-decree issues. It has been a challenging but an important and interesting part of what I do. In counseling families in the midst of a divorce, I have developed a checklist of things to consider in preparing the Parenting Agreement and Marital Settlement Agreements. The new statutes in Illinois have eliminated the words custody and now reference instead decision making and parenting time.

Housing and Employment Classes

Longtime disability advocate and consultant, Teri Steinberg, has assisted many people with disabilities live the lives that they love and deserve.  An expert on person centered planning, Teri is now offering a series of tele-classes designed through her company, Plan A Better Future, to educate parents of young adults with disabilities, as well as self-advocates, in how to navigate the important issues of housing, employment, and life after the age of 22 when special education services end.
For more information, email Teri at or click here.

Upcoming Events


Thursday, April 7th, 2016

The Brook Whitted Center, a transition program for college capable emerging adults invites you to: 

Come Meet and Join Us
The Brooke Whitted Loft
1323 S. Michigan Avenue, Unit 504
Chicago, IL 60605

RSVP to Veronica Salas at

For information about the Brooke Whitted Center: 

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Autism Speaks North Shore Walk

New Trier Township High School
7 Happ Road
Northfield, IL 60093
Registration at 8:00 a.m.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Center for Independent Futures
Spark Gala
Hilton Orrington
Evanston, IL

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Have Dreams
2016 Night of Dreams
Radisson Blu Aqua
Chicago, IL

About Us
The Child & Family Law Center ,  founded  by Micki Moran in 1995, is a unique legal practice that specializes in providing services to families and children in the areas of Special Education, IEP Consultation, Guardianship, Juvenile Law, Criminal Law, Mental Health Law, DCFS, Divorce and Parental Responsibility, Parenting Agreements, and Mediation.

We provide representation in Cook, Lake, McHenry, DuPage, Kane and Will Counties.

Please call our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys in Highland Park and Lisle, IL.

The Child & Family Law Center
1950 Sheridan Road, Suite 201
Highland Park, IL 60035
Phone (847)926-0101
Fax (847)926)8500