Special Education Symposium: Navigating Your Child’s Learning Disability Diagnosis
A special symposium for parents of children in grades K-8 with language based learning disabilities.
9:00am – 4:00pm: Full Day
9:00am – 1:00pm Morning Program
12:00pm – 4:00pm Afternoon Program
One of the biggest challenges that parents of children diagnosed with a learning disability (LD) face is navigating the complicated special education system. The Special Education Symposium brings together experts in the fields of advocacy, school placement, school admissions, finance and law to provide practical tools and information that parents can use to help their children with an LD.
Parents will receive information about the supports and accommodations that mainstream schools can provide to students with special education needs, as well as the services provided by specialized schools and how to pursue specialized placement. Parents will also receive tips on financial planning for special education and gain an understanding of the legal process around funding and obtaining accommodations. The day ends with a panel of parents who will share their experiences navigating the special education process.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Harold Koplewicz MD, President and Founder, Child Mind Institute
Panel 1: ADVOCACY AND INTERVENTION OPTIONS
My child has an LD diagnosis – What do I do now? This panel will focus on understanding your child’s educational needs. You will hear from advocacy and placement experts on how they develop a plan for accommodating students with LDs. They will provide models of different types of support that students can receive and review ways to obtain those services.
Moderator – Laura Phillips, PsyD, Clinical Neuropsychologist, Child Mind Institute Learning and Development Center
- Wendy Federico, Special Education Consultant and Advocate, Smart City Kids
- Chantal Aflalo, Special Needs and Educational Advisor
- Sharon Thomas, Founder and Director, MAIA Education Resource Center
Panel 2: FINDING THE RIGHT SCHOOL FOR YOUR CHILD
My child is not doing well and we need other school choices. What do the specialized schools provide? This panel will focus on specialized schools for students with LDs. You will hear from admissions staff at several local programs about the types of programming and models of intervention that students with an LD require, as well as how to determine if a student needs specialized placement and how to apply.
- Maureen Sweeney, Director of Admissions, The Windward School
- Ellen Grayson, Director of Admissions, The Gateway School
- Yoni Schwab, Assistant Head of School, The Shefa School
- Bob Thomas, Director of Admissions and Communications, The Churchill School
- Juliana May, Director of Admissions, Stephen Gaynor School
LUNCH PRESENTATION: FINANCIAL PLANNING FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION
Over lunch, participants will hear from a financial planning expert who will discuss planning and managing the costs of your child’s education, including opportunities for identifying and covering the hidden costs of special education services.
Panel 3: FUNDING & OBTAINING ACCOMMODATIONS
A specialized school is costly. How can I pay for it and what is required? This panel will focus on navigating the special education process from a legal perspective. You’ll hear from top educational attorneys who represent families with a child who requires legal advocacy. You will learn about your child’s rights and understand the steps required to obtain legal support and funding for the right placement. You will learn about the legal aspects of the IEP process and the approach needed to secure district support for a specialized program.
Moderator – Ken Schuster PsyD, Clinical Neuropsychologist, Child Mind Institute Learning and Development Center
- Tracey Spencer Walsh, Special Education Lawyer, Spencer Walsh Law
- Regina Skyer, Special Education Lawyer, Skyer Law
- Alex Hindes, Special Education Lawyer, Law Offices of Neal Rosenberg
Panel 4: SPECIAL EDUCATION PARENT PANEL
How will we get through this? Here’s how and what to expect from parents who have gone through the process of finding the right options for their child with an LD. They will share personal stories of how they managed the difficulties, learned to cope with the diagnosis and how they developed acceptance.
Moderator – Matthew Cruger, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Senior Director Learning and Development Center, Child Mind Institute