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In This Issue
D65 Loses Due Process Case
What is Executive Function?
Failure in Mental Health System
Homework Strategies
Autism Documentary
Parent Connections
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LogoEvanston Citizens for Appropriate Special Education (CASE) is a community advocacy organization working to improve the range, quality and accessibility of special education services in Evanston/Skokie District 65 and ETHS District 202.

We provide information and support for parents of children with special needs through Parent Connections meetings and our CASEline number.
We are commited to advancing disability awareness in the Evanston community.

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On the CASE
September 2013


Hello Evanston CASE members,


I hope you are experiencing a smooth transition back to school. If you have any concerns, we are here to help.  Feel free to contact us.


CASE is looking for volunteers. Do you have time to spare and want to put your energy into improving services for kids with special needs in Evanston?  If you have a lot of time or a little, we would appreciate your help.  Join us!  We are developing committees right now.


Give us a call at 847-556-8676 or email if you are interested in volunteering at


We hope you find this issue of On the CASE informative and useful.


Warm regards,


Cari Levin, LCSW

Founding Director

Evanston CASE 


ETHS School Board to Discuss Mental Health Services
September 23rd

CASE advocated for improvements in mental health services at ETHS in the spring.  We are going to follow up when the D202 Board addresses the issue at their meeting on Monday, September 23rd.

We will be making a number of specific recommendations.


Please attend the meeting to support us as we work to keep this important issue in the forefront. 


D65 Loses Due Process Case
Why this affects you...

District 65 recently lost a Due Process lawsuit because of the way they implemented the inclusion policy back in 2010.  At that time, CASE reminded the D65 School Board and Administration about the IDEA requirement to make decisions about student's IEP's, including placements, based on their INDIVIDUAL needs not based on a policy.  Unfortunately our concerns went unheeded.  This lawsuit not only put this family through undue stress and expense, it also cost the district a lot of money to litigate.


If you are concerned about the way inclusion is being implemented in the District, this decision effects you.  Larry Gavin of the Evanston Roundtable published an informative article on the decision.  If you have questions or concerns related to this, please contact us.


 Evanston Roundtable article


What is Executive Function?

One of the most common concerns raised by parents is their child's difficulty with executive functioning and the lack of responsiveness from schools to assist students in this essential area.  In order to effectively advocate for your child, educate yourself about what executive functioning is and helpful ways to address it.


This article published by the National Resource Center on ADHD is very helpful.


Executive Function article

 Failure in Mental Health System

"No Points for Style" is one of the best Blogs I have ever read.  It is written by a mom whose child has significant disabilities and her struggles and triumphs as she parents him.  This particular post on the failure of the mental health system is quite powerful.  I hope you find this useful.


 Amazing Blog


Homework Strategies

This helpful information was published on the Child Mind Institute's newsletter:

"With the start of a new school year comes another beginning parents sometimes dread: homework. Here is the best guide to helping kids do homework successfully that we've seen, published by the National Association of School Psychologists on their website,"


"Strategies to Make Homework Go More Smoothly: Routines and Incentive Systems to Help Kids Succeed" by Peg Dawson, EdD, NCSP

Read full article


"Best Kept Secret"
New PBS Documentary


"At a public school in Newark, NJ, the staff answers the phone by saying, "You've reached John F. Kennedy High School, Newark's best-kept secret." JFK provides an exceptional environment for students with special-education needs. In Best Kept Secret, Janet Mino, who has taught a class of young men for four years, is on an urgent mission. She races against the clock as graduation approaches for her severely autistic minority students. Once they graduate and leave the security of this nurturing place, their options for living independently will be few. Mino must help them find the means to support themselves before they "age out" of the system. (90 minutes)"


Can be viewed online: September 24 - October 7th


To view the trailer

Parent Connections -- New Format

We will be changing the format of Parent Connections meetings this school year.  We hope this will make the program more relevant and convenient. We paid attention to the most well-attended topics last year and will repeat those.  We will be offering meetings 4 times this year, as opposed to monthly.  You will also receive more advance notice.

Topics will include:

  • Understanding Your Rights Under IDEA
  • An IEP Workshop
  • Behavior Intervention Plans for Home and School
  • Coping with Mood Disorders

Please let us know if there is a topic you would like to hear about and we will try to add it to the schedule.