September 2013
The Child and Family Law Center  
of the North Shore, Ltd.  
Newsletter-Recovery Issue 

In This Issue
National Recovery Month
Substance Abuse
Recovery: Resources
Kiva Recovery
Special Ed Recent Illinois Case
The Common Core
Lisle Office
Substance Abuse and your Teen or Young Adult:  
Legal, Education and Intervention Issues
Presented by Micki Moran, J.D.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
7:00-7:30 p.m.
  • What to do if your child is arrested
  •  Turning disaster into opportunity 
  • School and illegal drug issues   
  • The dangers of ignoring the problem.



Call 847-926-0101 for information 

Child and Family Law Center Fall Conference

Autism and Special Education Summit: Advocacy throughout the Lifespan

Saturday, November 2, 2013 
Trinity International University* 
Deerfield, IL

IEPs from age 3-22, Evaluations, Research Based Interventions, DSM-5, Mental Health Challenges of Adolescents and Young Adults on the Spectrum, Microboards, Transition Planning and Programs, Adult Services in Illinois, Guardianship, Special Needs Trusts, and more...

Registration info coming soon.
*This is not a function of Trinity International University 

Announcements and Upcoming Events:

 IAASE Fifteenth Annual Fall Conference

(Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education)

September 26-27, 2013

Tinley Park, IL


"Students with Mental Health Issues"


Presented by Micki Moran, J.D. and Laura Sinars, J.D.


 7th Annual Best Practices in Nonpublic Special Education Programs 
November 7-8, 2013 
Oak Lawn, IL 

"Private Placements: The Current Law, Trends and what Actually Happens when Placement is an Issue: A Parents' Attorney Perspective"

Presented by Micki Moran
American Academy of Pediatrics
4th Annual ABC Conference:
Making Systems Work Across the Lifespan for Children with Special Needs
Friday, November 22, 2013
Palos Hills, IL  

"Advocating for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Presented by Micki Moran, J.D.


Center for Independent Futures Events:

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

October 13, 2013
 Something's Cooking
November 3, 2013

Send us your announcements! 
Is your group or organization having and event? Email us or call our office at 847-926-0101 with the information and
The Child & Family Law Center will be happy to publish it in our newsletter.
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In addition to traditional divorce services,  

The Child and Family Law Center now offers:


Divorce Mediation


  • Cost Effective.
  • Experienced Mediator.
  • Child Centered.
  • Problem Solving Focused. 

Please call us at 847-926-0101 for more information.

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The Child and Family Law Center provides representation and consultation in the following areas:
  • Special Education and School Law
  • Family Law
  • Juvenile and Criminal Law
  • Mental Health and Disability Law
 Check our website for a complete list of our services

The Child and Family Law Center, Ltd.  

1950 Sheridan Rd.
Suite 201 
Highland Park, IL 60035
phone: 847-926-0101
fax: 847-926-8500

Consultations by appointment in our Lisle, IL office. Please call for information. 
 We provide representation in the following Northern Illinois counties:  Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, and McHenry.
Hello and Welcome.  Each month The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore, Ltd. will provide articles of interest and updates on areas that our office deals with on a regular basis.  We appreciate and welcome feedback, so please feel free to send us an email at with questions or suggestions.
September is National Recovery Month  

Our office represents a significant number of adolescents and young adults with substance abuse problems. Typically, they occur in combination with a mental health condition. Almost 20 percent of 18-25 year-olds had a mental health condition in the past year, and of these, more than 1.3 million had a substance abuse disorder so serious that their ability to function was compromised. Compared with their peers, these young people are more likely to experience homelessness, be arrested, drop out of school, and be unemployed. Unfortunately, these young adults are significantly less likely than other adults to receive mental health services.

Recovery is possible. Services are essential and intervening early is critical. Parents are all too frequently in a form of denial and this delays necessary treatment.  

Substance Abuse

The reason I chose to devote this issue of our newsletter to Recovery Month is because of the significant adverse impact substance abuse and mental health issues have on our young clients and their families. For many of our adolescents it is a complicating and co-morbid factor in seeking legal assistance from our office. A recent news release from SAMSHA
(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) (August 29, 2013) provides some statistics on usage among this vulnerable group.
On an average day 881,684 teenagers aged 12 to 17 smoked cigarettes, according to SAMSHA. The report also says that on an average day 646,707 adolescents smoked marijuana and 457,672 drank alcohol. Click here for a full copy of the report.
It is important for parents to realize that this "problem" won't simply go away on its own. It cannot be ignored and yes, it often does lead to serious consequences both personally and legally.
Recommended Selected Reading and Resources:

Focus on a Local Resource:
Kiva Recovery

Kiva Recovery is an alcohol and substance abuse treatment model based on an innovative and holistic treatment approach inspired by proven treatment methods including positive psychology, Positive Sobriety and the 12-Step process.
Kiva Recovery's philosophy, Grounded Being, gives clients the tools to achieve lifelong sobriety and teaches the skills to lead a fulfilling life.
Kiva For Life is a comprehensive program designed to ensure maximum client and family engagement beginning with the moment of initial contact and extending through onsite treatment and the cultivation of lifelong support relationships. Kiva For Life is supported by group therapy, family support, continuing care and complementary services. The programs include supportive day treatment, day treatment, intensive outpatient treatment and outpatient treatment.
For more information call Antwon Bailey, Director of Patient and Family Services at 847-549-1500

Kiva Recovery
935 Lakeview Parkway, Suite 101
Vernon Hills, IL 60061

Special Education:
Board of Education of Evanston-Skokie Community Consolidated School District 65 v. Risen et. al. (ND Ill. 2012)

In this case, the parents requested an evaluation and an IEP from the school district prior to the student attending his second grade year. The district delayed the evaluation and the parents gave notice of their intent to unilaterally place the student in a private school. In response to their notice of their intent to place, the district hurriedly agreed to conduct an evaluation and develop an IEP days before the start of the school year. The parents provided several outside evaluations as well as extensive data from the student's prior private school placement regarding his extensive educational and behavioral needs.

Despite this data, the district recommended placement in a mainstream classroom, citing the district's policy to assign all children to mainstream programs. The parents, their outside professionals and the existing data on the child were ignored by the district. The district made many errors in determining (pre-determining) the placement including the failure to develop a behavior plan. The hearing officer, and ultimately the Court, found that the district's program failed to provide a free, appropriate, public education to the student. The opinion is lengthy and there is a well-reasoned analysis on a number of issues. However, in summary, the following are several highlights of the Court's reasoning:

  1. The district's insistence on a mainstream placement and their blanket inclusion policy for all students violated IDEA's mandate that a continuum of placements be available to all students. The purpose of providing a continuum of placements is to ensure that the student's IEP be individualized and confer educational benefit.
  2.  IDEA requires that school districts educate disabled children in the least restrictive environment to the maximum extent appropriate. IDEA's least restrictive environment cannot trump the provision of a free, appropriate, public education.
  3. The district ignored prior information about the student, the extent to which his behavior impacted his learning and their own earlier information that this student required a small structured classroom.

This opinion is worth reading because it is not unusual for school districts to explain that they are offering a program because this is what they have. This failure to provide a continuum of placements directly contravenes the mandate that the IEP should provide a student what they need.  


 Board of Education of Evanston-Skokie Community Consolidated School District 65 v. Risen et. al. (ND Ill. 2012)     

More about the Common Core

This year will undoubtedly bring to the forefront issues on how special education students will be served in relationship to the Common Core Standards.  

Illinois joined more than 40 states in a collaborative effort to raise learning standards and improve college and career readiness for all students, regardless of where they live. The new Common Core Standards establish clear expectations for what students should learn in English, language arts and mathematics at each grade level. The standards are high, clear and uniform to ensure that students are prepared for success in college and the workforce.

By emphasizing depth over breadth, the Common Core ensures that students have comprehensive understanding of key concepts. Illinois adopted the Common Core in 2010 and teachers and administrations across the state are fully implementing the new standards during the 2013-2014 school year. Many schools have already begun to incorporate elements of the new learning standards into their curricula. The Common Core determines what educators should teach, not how they should teach. Teachers will continue to have the freedom to tailor lesson plans to the individual needs of their students. The Common Core's higher standards and emphasis on applying knowledge to real world situations will better prepare Illinois students for the challenges facing them after high school graduation. 

Upcoming Documentaries of Interest

Dan Habib's new film project
 Who Cares About Kelsey?
 documents the lives of students with emotional/behavioral challenges, and shows innovative educational approaches that help these students to succeed - while improving the overall school culture and climate.

The Best Kept Secret, a PBS documentary that follows a special education teacher as she prepares her students with Autism to leave high school and enter adult life will be broadcast nationally on the PBS POV series on September 23, 2013.

The Anonymous People is a feature documentary film about the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Lisle Office

The Child and Family Law Center is pleased to announce the opening of a branch office in Lisle, Illinois. Attorneys Micki Moran and Joe Scally will meet with clients by appointment at 5950-E Lincoln, Lisle, IL.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 847-926-0101.

The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore is a unique legal practice that specializes in providing legal services to families and children in the areas of special education, IEP consultations, divorce and custody, parenting agreements, mediation, guardianship and juvenile law, including criminal law, DCFS and mental health. Where possible, we have initiated flat fee billing for appropriate matters.


The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore 

1950 Sheridan Rd.

Suite 201

Highland Park, IL 60035 


For more information about The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore, please call 847-926-0101 or visit our website at 

Micki Moran
The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore