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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » Experienced w/ LL education attorney?

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Author Topic: Experienced w/ LL education attorney?
hshbmom
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I've also posted this in Medical, but have received no answers.


Do any of you have experience with an education attorney and dealing with Lyme students?


Care to offer me some advice?


What information does the school want or need in a letter from your physician?


What resource can a physician use to guide them in writing an appropriate letter to the school?


Who composes the letters from your child's LLMD?


Does your child's LLMD have an administrative assistant I could refer my child's LLMD to?

Posts: 1672 | From AL/WV/OH | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pineapple
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I have not read your previous posts so do not know where you are in the process of ascertaining educational assistance, so bear with me.

First ask your school in writing what they are specifically looking for in a physician's letter.

Do they want recommendations for specific accommodations, statement of disability, or what?

When you find out what they are specifically looking for, this may help guide your LLMD.

Just so you know, it is ILLEGAL for a school to require the name of a medical condition in writing. This is protected by HIPPA and you do not have to disclose a diagnosis, only that a medical or disability exists and has an impact on the child's major life activities, one of which is learning. Others are eating, breathing, walking, seeing, etc.

It is best if your LLMD understands if you are trying to get an IEP or 504 plan because the letter will be different.

YOu need to find out about the process of the IEP in your state and what information is needed in order to establish an IEP. An educational advocate at the state will be able to help you understand the process. Many times these are parent advocates, but they may be found also at learning disability associations, brain injury associations, disability advocacy centers, state Dept. of Education, etc.

You also can look online at your state Dept. of Education for an example of an IEP under the special education place. Sometimes there is information for professionals there that may be helpful to you or the advocate.

I guess if I had a little more information about what is going on I might be able to help a little more with specific suggestions.

My experience with the LLMD writing the letter is that it did no good. It was very vague and was not what the school was looking for. Instead of making them write several letters, find out what they want first, then draft a letter yourself (with assistance from either an advocate or attorney) then send the letter to the LLMD as a suggestion, explaining what the school wants to know. LLMD may or may not be willing to provide the information they request.

Also gather any supporting documentation you may have, such as neuropsychological / cognitive test results, important journal entry notes, documentation of what the child is not able to do, etc. Remember you are not required to supply copies of medical records.

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pineapple
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Again, I am not sure if you are writing a letter to request evaluation, request accommodations and special education services, or are writing a letter for evidence of disability and need of accommodations.


Here are some resources that may help:

http://www.ldonline.org/indepth/iep

http://www.ldonline.org/article/6086

http://www.wrightslaw.com/


An excerpt from Wrightslaw....

When you advocate for a child, you use logs, calendars, and journals to create paper trails. You write letters to clarify events and what you were told. When you train yourself to write things down, you are taking steps to protect your child's interests.

If you have a dispute with the school, your logs and letters are independent evidence that support your memory. Documents that support your position will help you resolve disputes early.

When you write letters, think about what you want your letter to accomplish. Edit your letters so they make a good impression. When you write a letter, think about the decision-making Stranger who has the power to make things right.

Wrightslaw: From Emotion to Advocacy, 2nd Edition and Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind include dozens of letters that you can tailor to your circumstances.

More on letters:

http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/12rules_letters.htm


http://parenttoparentnys.org/Family2Family/Advocacy/Advocating%20and%20letter%20writing.pdf


Tons and tons of great info at wrightslaw. Wonderful resource!!

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shazdancer
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Thanks, pineapple, the Wright's Law website was what I was thinking of. And the Department of Education site for this is:

http://www.ed.gov/parents/needs/speced/iepguide/index.html

hshbmom, I had good results with a letter from my son's LLMD, along with his cognitive test scores and standardized tests.

His disability designation is "Other Health Impaired."

The doctor's note should include those symptoms that impair the child's ability to get an education. For example, a rash would not qualify, but extreme discomfort would. The doctor might note problems such as extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating for long periods, inability to process information quickly, inability to process auditory directions, swollen joints, etc.

The doctor should suggest things that the child cannot do in a school setting -- gym class, early start time, etc. The doctor might also suggest interventions that might help -- later start time, tutor, longer test time, permission ot go to the nurse's for a nap, etc.

I hope that gives you ideas. The education system is supposed to take the doctor's letter seriously, so be sure they do!

Regards,
Shaz

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hshbmom
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Hi Pineapple & Shaz,


Thank you for these great resources.


I'm still trying to find information to pass to our LLMD.


I got knocked off the computer when I tried to post this last night.

Posts: 1672 | From AL/WV/OH | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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