Jose Reynaldo da Fonseca pic of a cow Wikimedia

Editorial: Don’t Criticize Public Officials for Merely Noting How Much Special Education Costs

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Board of Finance Chairman Jon Zagrodzky is being criticized by some parents of Darien special education students who imply that he’s attacking special education spending. The accusations are exaggerated, sometimes inaccurate and occasionally nonsense. Readers can see that for themselves in the excerpt of his speech we’ve published at the bottom, and compare that with what the letters said. Zagrodzky’s public office concerns town spending, and education spending takes up most of what taxpayers fork over to the town. Special education spending alone, as he noted, has a budget of roughly $24 million — a quarter of the entire education budget.

Photo National Center for Special Education Research U.S. government website

Workshop for Parents on Special Education Rights

Westport Attorney Lawrence W. Berliner is presenting a workshop for parents with students in special education about what they need to know to navigate the special education maze and focus on what they need to know for the school year and beyond. The workshop will be hosted and moderated by Berliner, with speakers, psychologists Lauren Riordan PhD., and Jeff DeTeso, PhD., The Waverly Group, Greenwich. It will take place on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Stamford Jewish Community Center, 1035 Newfield Ave., Stamford, CT 06905. Berliner, Dr. Riordan, and Dr. DeTeso will help parents discover what they need to know about:

—Your Child’s basic educational rights

—The Turning Point: What to do when your child is struggling in school and the school is not responding to your child’s needs

—What is an IEE (Independent Educational Evaluation) and parents’ right to have one and

—School learning challenges: executive function, ADHD, anxiety issues, and learning differences.

Special Education Legal Fund Christine Lai Ulrika Drinkall

Special Education Legal Fund Started to Help Families Navigate Special Ed

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The moment parents hear the word disability associated with their child, time stops. Or so it seems.

But just as emotion saps their reserves, the challenges they face are just setting in and, in fact, time is flying. Parents do not have the luxury of taking time to process this overwhelming news. Instead, they have to adapt and learn and keep pace with the changes that come and the subsequent special education landscape they face. Greenwich residents Ulrika Drinkall and Christine Lai both faced and fought those moments.