This course, presented by three nationally recognized education attorneys from the parent/student side and from the school side, will provide a comprehensive overview of the different laws students on the autism spectrum, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504, and the most up-to-date case law involving students with autism. This course also includes a panel discussion of ethical issues in matters involving students on the autism spectrum.
The course is for school attorneys, parent attorneys, attorneys who practice in the areas of disability law, criminal defense and family law, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers, teachers, school administrators, educators, school governing board members, and attorneys who have an interest in this area of the law or a family member of school age on the autism spectrum.
This course will guide you through special education laws impacting students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Our experienced faculty will begin with a discussion of the different medical and educational definitions of autism, and then walk you through the disputes that arise at school involving these students, including identification, evaluation placement, 504s and IEPs, FBAs and BIPs, discipline, and bullying and harassment, and the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. Learn how to advise clients and handle special education legal issues for this unique population with confidence.
Key topics to be discussed:
What is autism spectrum disorder?
Medical diagnosis of autism vs. educational eligibility
Identifying and evaluating students with ASD for IEPs or 504 Plans across the spectrum
Laws impacting students with ASD
Creating a meaningful IEP for students with ASD in light of Endrew F and its progeny
Bullying, harassment and discipline involving students with ASD
Ethical issues that arise in matters involving students on the autism spectrum
Date: September 29, 2022
Hope N. Kirsch, Esq. | Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch PLLC
Hope Kirsch is a partner with the education law firm of Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC, in Scottsdale, Arizona, founded in 2006. She is a licensed special education teacher and 30 year attorney specializing in education law 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 super-vised 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 ad-ministration, and her law degree from Brooklyn Law School. She is admitted to the state and federal district courts in New York, New Jersey, Arizona and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. She is AV® Preeminent rated and is appointed to serve as a Judge Pro Tem for the Superior Court of Arizona.
Lori Kirsch-Goodwin, Esq. | Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch PLLC
Lori Kirsch-Goodwin, Esq., is a 35 year litigation attorney whose practice is 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. Lori began advocating for students with disabilities when one of her twin sons, now 27 years old, was found in need of special education in Kindergarten. Lori is regularly involved in eligibility and IEP meetings, MDRs, disciplinary due process hearings, OCR, IDEA Due Process, and DDD appeals.
She is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in New York, New Jersey, Arizona and the 9th Circuit, and is AV-rated. 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. She is an AV® Preeminent rated attorney and is appointed to serve as Judge Pro Tem for the Superior Court of Arizona.
Heather R. Pierson, Esq. | Udall Shumway
Heather Pierson is a partner at the law firm Udall Shumway PLC in Mesa, AZ. She is a member of the firm’s School Law section, representing the firm’s education law clients throughout the State. Ms. Pierson comes to Udall Shumway PLC uniquely qualified in the area of education law. Prior to joining Udall Shumway, Ms. Pierson taught behavior disordered students. During her teaching career, Ms. Pierson was involved in the development and implementation of Individualized Education Plans (“IEP”) and behavior plans and attended several trainings on special education and regular education interventions and strategies. While in law school, Ms. Pierson provided in-home ABA services for autistic children under the age of three and participated in the Whittier Law School Special Education Clinic, which provided special education advocacy services for children with developmental disabilities. Additionally, Ms. Pierson earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education in 2004.
Ms. Pierson primarily focuses her practice on special education and disability related matters. She routinely defends school districts and other public educational institutions in matters related to disability law matters, such as special education due process hearings, Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) complaints, Section 504 due process hearings, mediation, and special education state complaints. She provides daily advice and assistance in matters related to special education, Section 504, the Americans with Disabilities Act, student discipline, personnel issues and student records. Ms. Pierson taught Contemporary Developments in Special Education Law through Northern Arizona University during the Spring of 2014. She has also given in-service workshops to district personnel on a wide range of special education and disability related topics and speaks at state-wide conferences.
I. What is autism spectrum disorder? – Hope N. Kirsch | 9:00am – 9:20am II. Medical diagnosis of autism vs. educational eligibility – Hope N. Kirsch | 9:20am – 9:40am III. Identifying and evaluating students with ASD for IEPs or 504 Plans across the spectrum – Heather R. Pierson | 9:40am – 10:00am
Break | 10:00am – 10:10am
IV. Laws impacting students with ASD – Heather R. Pierson | 10:10am – 10:30am V. Creating a meaningful IEP for students with ASD in light of Endrew F and its progeny – Lori Kirsch-Goodwin | 10:30am – 10:50am VI. Bullying, harassment and discipline involving students with ASD – Lori Kirsch-Goodwin | 10:50am – 11:10am
Break | 11:10am – 11:20am
VII. Ethical issues that arise in matters involving students on the autism spectrum – Panel Discussion| 11:20am – 12:20pm