November 23, 2011
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Dear Parents, Families, and Educators,

With a heart full of gratitude, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!  We at ABCs for Life Success are so grateful for all you do each day to advocate for the extraordinary children in our lives.  We know that advocating for our children is not easy sometimes, and we believe that making a difference for one child forwards the civil rights of all people.  Thank you for giving us the opportunity to make a difference for a child's future.  Pass some gratitude along and reach out this holiday season to someone who needs you.  Thanks! 

Michelle R. Davis
Owner and Founder
ABCs for Life Success, LLC

 EligibilityIs My Child Eligible for Special Education?  Stage 4 of the IEP Process

After evaluations are completed and considered, the Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) determines whether the child has a disability, if the disability affects the child's ability to learn, and if the child requires special education.

The child may have received a diagnosis from a private provider; the MDT still must translate the disorders or conditions to a federally defined disability in order to develop the IEP and provide special education and related services.  The  Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book includes more information and a chart for common diagnosis and the educational disabilities to which they often correspond.  For example, a diagnosis of ADHD often is categorized as Other Health Impairment. 

Even after the disability is defined, the child is not automatically eligible for special education and related services.  The MDT must agree that the disability adversely impacts the child's education, and the child must be in need of services, per the MDT decision.  Determining adverse impact can be a difficult decision, especially if the parents are concerned about emotional and behavioral issues that are not easily measured and defined by school staff.   There are several important legal factors to consider when determining eligibility, such as qualification requirements for the team making the determination, documentation requirements, and more.  

The expert consultants at ABCs for Life Success consultant can help you to navigate this and every stage of the IEP process.  We help you understand your rights and the school system's responsibilities, and work collaboratively with the MDT to determine what your child needs in terms of school services and placement.  Contact us today to discuss your child's strengths and needs.   

definitionSpecial Education Services Defined


"Special Education is:
  • free;
  • "specially designed" or specialized instruction that adapts content, methodology, and delivery of instruction;
  • designed to meet unique needs of the child with a disability and addresses needs that result from the disability;
  • delivered in the classroom, at home, or in other settings;
  • instruction to "ensure access to general curriculum"; and
  • instruction to allows the child to meet educational standards of the school system (U.S. Department of Education, 2006, p. 46762)."
From Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book: What You Can Do Now to Advocate for Your Exception Child's Education, pg. 106.
Happy Thanksgiving!
In This Issue


The ABC for Life Success Team


Michelle Davis, M. Ed

Eric Levine, Ed. D.

Amy Mounce, MA, M. Ed.

Revanette Gilmore, M. Ed.

Paul Livelli, Ph. D.

Gretchen Holtzinger Levine

Nina Hagan, MAT

Kelly Diamond


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