Autism in Special Education: An Attorney’s Guide to Legal Obligations of Schools Educating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Parents’ Rights


CLE credits earned: 2 GENERAL (or 2 LAW & LEGAL for WA state)

Nationally recognized special education attorneys Lori Kirsch-Goodwin and Hope Kirsch will provide a hands-on legal guide as they walk you through legal best practices for educating students on the autism spectrum. Beginning with an overview of the diagnostic criteria and education eligibility for IEPs and 504 Plans for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”), the faculty will discuss the educational needs of students across the spectrum. Through a discussion of recent case law, you will gain a better understanding of the legal obligations of schools, and the legal rights of the students and their parents/legal guardians. Learn how to handle special education legal issues for this unique population with confidence.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   Defining autism – medical and educational definitions
•   Laws impacting students with autism
•   IEPs, 504 Plans, FBAs and BIPs
•   Handling disputes
•   Recent case law

Date / Time: July 7, 2020

•   2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific

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•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.

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Original Broadcast Date: January 10, 2020

Lori Kirsch-Goodwin, Esq., is a founding member of the Arizona special education law firm, Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC. She is a 30+ year trial attorney whose practice for the past 15 years has been devoted to devoted to education and special education matters on behalf of students and their families. Lori has a Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and her law degree from Bridgeport (now Quinnipiac) University. She is the mother of a young man on the autism spectrum. Lori began advocating for special needs students when her own son was found eligible for special education when he was in Kindergarten. Lori is regularly involved in eligibility (MET) meeting, IEP meetings, MDRs, disciplinary due process hearings, OCR complaints and mediations, IDEA Due Process, and DDD appeals. She is admitted to the state and federal bars in New York, New Jersey and Arizona, and in the 9th Circuit. Lori is an AV® Preeminent rated attorney by her peers and judges (5.0 out of 5.0), representing the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards. Lori prevailed in a case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that involved appropriateness of a school’s selection of location of a school for a student on the spectrum.

Hope N. Kirsch, M.A.(Ed.), Esq., is a licensed special education teacher and 25-year attorney. She practices education and special education law with her sister, Lori Kirsch-Goodwin, at Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC, representing K-12 and higher education students throughout Arizona in school-related matters including advocacy, Due Process, 504s, OCR, discipline and bullying. Hope was a special education teacher and coordinator in the New York City public schools for 18 years where she worked with the most challenging populations and supervised and trained teachers in teaching strategies, curriculum development, writing IEPs and behavior management. She has a Bachelor’s degree in special education from Boston University, a Master’s degree in special education from NYU, 30+ post-graduate credits in educational supervision and administration, and her law degree from Brooklyn Law School. She is admitted to the state and federal bars in New York, New Jersey, Arizona, and in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Hope was instrumental in the passage of the first legislation in Arizona addressing restraint and seclusion. Hope is an AV® Preeminent rated attorney by her peers and judges (5.0 out of 5.0), representing the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards, and serves as a Judge Pro Tem in the Superior Court of Arizona.

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Section I. What is autism? Medical diagnosis of autism vs. educational eligibility

Section II. Laws impacting students with autism

Section III. Essential features of IEPs, 504 Plans, FBAs and BIPs for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Section IV. Areas of disputes and dispute resolution

Section V. Recent case law discussing and impacting students with autism