Michael Boll, father to a son with autism and CSNLG team member, talks with attorney Richard Isaacs about the choice to file a lawsuit.

Michael Boll, father to a son with autism and CSNLG team member, talks with attorney Richard Isaacs about deciding on solutions for your child’s specific situation and then advocating for those solutions with the school district.

Michael Boll, father to a son with autism and CSNLG team member, talks with attorney Richard Isaacs about understanding your case through the file review process.



A Beginner’s Guide to the Special Education Legal Process

This blog is based on the first of a series of podcasts called Special Education Matters, featuring Michael and our lead attorney Richard Isaacs. Michael and Richard discuss the process that begins when a family decides to work with us. Some of this process is specific to CSNLG, but much of the information we share can be taken and applied to your own situation. We begin with the very first stage in the process, deciding to work together.

Stage 1: Deciding to Work Together

You must decide if you even want to work with and involve a law firm

  • The best way to do this is hold a conversation between us and your family to ensure everyone’s needs are met

How we enact this process at CSNLG

  1. We ask you to fill out an intake form for your information that’s on our website at CSNLG.com/intake
    1. We ask you a pretty detailed list of questions about your situation and about the situation for your son or daughter or guardian.
  2. That information is transferred to us and we work to set up a free consultation.
    1. This consultation does take a little bit of time
    2. During this time we learn whether we can help you, or if we should direct you to someone else
    3. It helps us gain an understanding of the case and helps us share with you the next steps for a typical family
    4. We try to get real information that you can use even if you don’t decide to work with us.
      1. For example, what the next steps might be and what the law says regarding your situation.
  3. We then, if you agree, send an agreement to you
    1. This agreement is called a Retention Agreement and it explains the nature of the relationship between you and CSNLG (us).out the
  4. Two additional forms are sent to you
    1. Authorization for representation
      1. Later sent to districts to inform them that you are being represented by a law firm
    2. Authorization to request records
      1. Allows us to request records from districts

This summary is part of our complete Beginner’s Guide to the Special Education Legal Process.

Michael Boll, father to a son with autism and CSNLG team member, introduces our special series on the process of working with an attorney or advocate to help your son or daughter. This is a mutli-part series.

We start with how the process works here at CSNLG and what steps happen to go from someone seeking help and information to hiring a law firm.

If you have a child with special needs such as autism, you may quickly start hearing about Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and Verbal Behavior (VB) as therapies that are helpful to children.

Today I talk with Dr. Denise Eckman president and executive director of Creative Behavior Interventions. We discuss an overview of what ABA is and which types of children, and even adults, benefit from this type of intervention. We go a little deep and by the end of this show, you will have a functional understanding of behaviors, their antecedents and a breakdown of different types of communication we find in language. In fact, if you listen carefully, you may be able to discuss Mands, Tacts, Intraverbal and Echoic communication!

Dr. Susan Burnett, Paralegal and Advocate 

Have you ever gone to your child’s IEP meeting with the uncomfortable premonition right from the start that it is going to be an adversarial meeting?

You walk in and everyone is friendly enough, but then someone proceeds with a conversation laden with inaccuracies and diversions. When challenged, the friendliness dissipates and the tension begins to grow. You request that the note taker record a detailed and accurate description of what is discussed. This is met with opposition as the person taking the notes is also the one who is running the meeting.

What do you do when the odds of a fair, honest and balanced discussion that could result in appropriate assessments and interventions seem unattainable?

What are your options?

Did you know that you can call an end to the meeting? As an equal IEP team member, you do not have to stay in a meeting where you are being minimized and sometimes bullied. You can simply state that you don’t feel as though the district is allowing you to be an equal participant and therefore the meeting will have to be rescheduled. You can take this even further if needed and send a letter to the director of special education requesting that a particular IEP team member not participate in your child’s meeting.

If needed invite the district education special to meet with you personally and listen to your concerns from the meeting.

Hopefully, you will never have this type of experience and your team already works collaboratively with you. But if difficulties in these meetings occur, it is important to know that as an equal IEP team member you have a vital role in the meeting and can advocate for your child as needed

‘Readin, ‘writin and ‘rithmetic, or the three r’s as they used to call it, it still a fundamental concern for parents and educators who see a student struggling in those areas. Additional help and instruction in those areas is often a successful way to catch a student up or move them further ahead.

Today I speak with Tia Jones, Executive Center Director of the Lindamood-Bell program in Newport Beach, California. We discuss her program, the specifics of how it works along with the time commitment and costs associated with enrollment.

Having a successful IEP meeting, plan, implementation, etc. can involve a wide range of people and logistical efforts. Trust, based on constructive communication, is often the key factor in keeping all these moving parts working together.

Today I talk with Bree Tippets, a Pre-K, Special Education Coordinator for Orange Unified School district.

Bree helps us understand an IEP from the district’s point of view and what efforts we can make as parents to build a team focused on our child. Interestingly, Bree is the parent to a child with special needs and knows first-hand a parent’s point of view.

Idealism and the desire to help people is often an overarching view of many young people fresh out of school and ready to contribute to the world. For Adrienne Oliveira, my guest today, she saw a career as a special education teacher as her chance to contribute.

Adrienne reflects on her time working in three different schools in three different states and the dramatic differences she found in each district. All these experiences gave her a unique perspective after her son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Suddenly Adrienne was now a parent at an IEP instead of a teacher.