Category Archives: Special Education

“Avonte’s Law”: GPS Tracking System For Children With Autism

In October of 2013, New York teen Avonte Oquendo, disappeared from his school and was confirmed dead last month. Avonte was afflicted with autism and seen in security cameras fleeing the school on the day he went missing. Now, New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer has proposed a bill that would provide optional tracking devices […]

U.S. Secretary of Education: Children with Disabilities Held to Same Standards

From Joy Resmovits at the Huffington Post: Should students with disabilities be held to the same academic standards as their peers? And should schools and teachers be held accountable for their progress? U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan answered that question with a resounding yes, proposing a seemingly wonky regulatory change that could have profound effects […]

Disproportionate Numbers of Minorities and English Learners in Special Education Programs

The overrepresentation and underrepresentation of minority students in special education programs represents a national issue that has pervaded society for the past several decades. Mark Guiberson, author of “Hispanic Representation in Special Education: Patterns and Implications,” explains that “overrepresentation occurs when the percentage of minority students in special education programs is greater than that in […]

New DSM-V Categories May Impact Diagnoses

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), the publication’s first major revision in over twenty years, includes changes that have caused a stir in the psychiatric community. Among these changes, the DSM-V now combines the autism spectrum disorders into a single category and includes the newly created disruptive mood […]

Tuesday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Japan’s Child Kidnapping Problem, The Daily Beast Japan has a child-kidnapping problem. It’s not strangers snatching the kids on the playground or at the bus-stop; the problem is that when a Japanese national divorces a foreigner overseas, he or she can abduct their children, bring them back to Japan and the law ensures that the […]

First Day of the 12th Annual Zealous Advocacy Conference!

The 12th Annual Zealous Advocacy Conference began on a strong note with David Domenici speaking about the success he has had with the Maya Angelou Academy that serves D.C.’s incarcerated youth.  The most interesting fact…

Saturday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

High Court Says State Improperly Requested Medical Records in Truancy Case, Omaha.com Lisa Siefker has spent two years fighting to get her teenage autistic son to attend school regularly after he violated Nebraska’s controversial truancy law. But the 41-year-old Lincoln woman’s willingness to cooperate reached a limit when state officials overseeing the case wanted to […]

Friday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Parents With Disabilities And Family Law, NPR A report from the National Council on Disability finds that parents with physical or mental disabilities have a greater risk of losing custody of their children. The study says that the U.S. legal system needs to provide more support for these parents. (Click above for audio of story) […]

Friday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

State Reforms Could Give Options to Wayward Teens, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Lawmakers in this traditionally tough-on-crime state approved a sweeping rewrite of Georgia’s rigid sentencing laws a year ago, allowing more nonviolent adult offenders to avoid costly prison stints. This session, the General Assembly . . . will consider changes to the state’s juvenile justice […]

Washington Judicial Colloquies Project – Using Language that Children Can Understand in Juvenile Court

Last year, I attended the National Juvenile Defender Summit in Seattle, Washington.  At the Summit, I attended TeamChild’s presentation about one of their current projects.  TeamChild was working on developing youth friendly colloquies for juvenile courts in two Washington Counties. The presentation inspired me. I had never before thought about the fact that though juvenile […]

Sunday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Michigan appeals court rules that juveniles serving mandatory life for murder won’t be freed, Detroit Free Press, Michigan The Michigan appeals court has ruled a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that ends mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles convicted of murder will not apply retroactively to teens already found guilty who have exhausted their […]

Kid Courts Should Use Kid Friendly Language

Upon entering the courtroom with his defense attorney, the child starts waving at the judge.  When the defense attorney asks the child, “What are you doing?”  The child replied, “I’m waving my rights.”[1] Across our country, children are being funneled through the juvenile justice system.  The majority of these children have no real understanding of […]