May 2012
The Child and Family Law Center of the North Shore Newsletter
In This Issue
Advocating for your Child or Teen with Mental Health Issues
Teens, Arrests and Schools
Divorce and Kids
Webinar Series

Quick Links


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Announcements and Upcoming Events:










Advocating for your Child or Teen with a Mental Illness

May 30th

Stay tuned for Registration Instructions 


...  ...   

Susan Myket, Ph.d. & Associates in Naperville offers groups for adolescents including:


Middle School and High School Transition Groups


Social Anxiety


Teen Anxiety and  



Too Much Drama!

Navigating the Relational World of Teen Girls


and more.

For information call 630-355-9002  

or click here: 



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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The Child and Family Law Center, Ltd.

1950 Sheridan Rd.
Suite 201 
Highland Park, IL 60035


We provide representation in the following Northern Illinois counties:  Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, and McHenry.

Flat fee pricing available for:

~Special Education Matters
~IEP Review
~Due Process
~IEP Attendance 
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 [email protected] with questions or suggestions.
Mental Health Month 2012. The first full week of May is designated as National Children's Mental Health Awareness Week.
Frequently Asked Questions:

My child has been diagnosed with anxiety by a psychiatrist and he/she is taking medications. Should I tell the school?

As a general rule, the answer is yes. Partnering with the school, when possible, is important for your child. For many children school itself, either the academics or social environment, is a source of stress and anxiety. Working to reduce that stress requires a partnership. 

My daughter has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder by our pediatrician. Does this mean she will automatically get an IEP or special education services? 
The answer is no. A diagnosis alone is not an entry ticket to special education. The child's condition (e.g. ADHD) needs to have an adverse impact on their education. If you choose to share this diagnosis with your school district that may trigger a meeting and a discussion of your child's educational needs. At that point you may want to request a case study evaluation from the school to determine whether your child qualifies for special education. 
What are the special education categories for students who qualify for special education services? 
Typically students may be made eligible under the categories of Other Health Impaired or Emotional Disturbance. This is defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 
Emotional disturbance
is 1 of 12 disability categories specified under IDEA. It is defined as follows: 
"(i) The term means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child's educational performance: 
(A)  An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors. 
(B) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers. 
(C) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances. 
(D) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression. 
(E) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems. 
(ii) The term includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially  maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance" 
 (CFR Section 300.7 (a) 9).  
Most parents worry that this category carries with it a negative connotation. While this concern is understandable, my advice to parents is that this eligibility may allow their child to access needed services and may provide a protective factor in school discipline issues when their behavior is a result of their disability.  
Other Health Impairment: 
A: in order for a student to qualify for special education under the OHI category, the following criteria must be met: a) the student must be diagnosed with an emotional disorder by the school district, or the school must accept the diagnosis rendered by another qualified professional; b) the mental health condition must result in limited alertness to academic tasks, due to heightened alertness to environmental stimuli; c) the effects of the mental health condition must be chronic (long-lasting) or acute (have a substantial impact); d) this must result in an adverse effect on educational performance; e) the student must require special education services in order to address the mental health issues and their impact. 

National Association for Mental Illness:
Mental Health America:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 

 Teens, Arrest and Schools



Most Parents who call our office are shocked to learn that their teenager or pre-teen has been arrested at school. They were under the impression that schools were protective environments where the worst that can happen is a detention. Schools have wide latitude in investigating illegal activities. Students often are questioned by an administrator about a potential crime or other activity. School officials aren't required to give Miranda warnings prior to questioning. Scared students often agree to tell their story and will frequently write out a statement. This may be shared with the police and the student may be subject to arrest. Having a disability does not necessarily protect a student from arrest or legal consequences.

What should parents advise their teenager to do if they are questioned by school officials?
Most importantly, have this talk with your teenager prior to any problems. If they are questioned by school officials or police, they should always do the following:
  • Ask to call their parent.
  • Refuse to give a statement either in writing or orally until a parent has been called and is present.
  • The older the teenager is, the more latitude police will have in questioning. Regardless of whether a student has committed a crime, they should be told never to speak to a police officer until they have an opportunity to call their parents and speak to a lawyer. Police officers aren't in the position of befriending your child or teen. They have a job to do. 
Divorce and Kids

Parents struggle with helping kids through divorce. They often ask for resources that might help them talk with their kids and make it easier to cope. The most important thing parents can do is to avoid long protracted divorce proceedings. Statistics demonstrate that the level and length of their parent's conflict will determine how children will do following their parent's divorce.
Selected Resources for Kids and Parents:

Divorce is not the End of the World - a Self Help book for kids.

Dinosaurs Divorce - a good book for young kids of divorce.

Where and I Sleeping Tonight? A Story of Divorce

Our divorce services:
  • Mediation
  • Custody
  • Paternity
  • Divorce
  • Child Support 
Webinar Series:

The Child and Family Law Center is pleased to announce a new series of monthly Webinars on topics of interest to our clients.


May 30th - Advocating for your Child or Teen with a Mental Illness.


June - Evaluations: What to look for and why they matter? Micki Moran, J.D., Ruth Kraus, Ph.D., and Cathy Jaselskis, M.D.  


July - TBA


August: Starting the School Year with the Best IEP you can Manage.


Stay tuned for registration information. 

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.


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