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Special Needs Planning

Special Education Advocacy

Questions and Answers about a Student’s Right to Special Education Law and How to Proceed 

By Marion M. Walsh, Esq. After two years of living in a pandemic, many parents may wonder if their child has a learning or emotional disability or special needs.  For some children, parents know about the challenges at birth or in early childhood.   For other parents, they may not suspect a disability until a child…

If your child requires significant supervision and support beyond the school day, they may be eligible for services from the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
Guide to Being a Parent of a Special Needs Child

Should You Refer Your Child with a Disability for OPWDD Services?

By Sandi Rosenbaum, Special Education/Special Needs Advocate Some students who receive special education services are indistinguishable from their typical peers once the school day is over. Others have physical, medical, or neurodevelopmental differences that affect their lives, and those of their families, every day. They require far more supervision and support than their same-aged peers,…

Father with adult son in park
Special Needs Planning

Update on Supported Decision Making in New York State

By Amy C. O’Hara, Partner From recent experience in New York guardianship courts on applications where individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities may have some higher functioning capabilities, I find judges are often frustrated with the current 17-A guardianship law as it cannot be tailored to an individual’s needs and supports to enable them to retain certain…

GIrl lying on stomach using tablet
Special Education Advocacy

Initial Referrals to the Committee on Special Education

by Arshi Pal, Esq. The pandemic has been a real eye-opener for many parents. As we transitioned to remote learning, many parents became part-time instructors to ensure that their children engaged in instruction and completed assignments. Many parents witnessed firsthand the struggles their children were having with paying attention, completing assignments, understanding concepts and communicating…

Special Education Advocacy

Recognizing Mental Illness Awareness Week

by Marion M. Walsh, Esq. In 1990, Congress officially established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week.  The week runs through Sunday, October 10, which is World Mental Health Day. Mental Illness Awareness Week assumes more relevance today than ever, due to challenges raised by the pandemic and increased isolation and…

Student with Special Education Teacher in New York City
Special Education Advocacy

New York State Issues School Reopening Guidance

By Sandi Rosenbaum, Special Education / Special Needs Advocate As schools reopen in the coming weeks, all have worries about the COVID-19 virus and its highly transmissible Delta variant. School administrators continue to plan for the safety of students and school personnel and develop new policies and protocols amid continuing concerns about the COVID-19 virus…

Closeup of a young girl getting piggyback ride with father
Special Needs Planning

Managing Virtual Learning for Students with Special Needs

 Reprinted with permission of the Special Needs Alliance ( This post was authored by attorney Amy C. O’Hara, CELA of Littman Krooks, LLP, New York. Amy focuses her practice on special needs planning, elder law, trusts and estates, and personal injury settlement consulting. She serves on SNA’s Board of Directors. If the pandemic has been…

Elder Law & Estate Planning

Guardianship: Fact vs. Fiction

In recent months, television viewers have been captivated by docuseries and fictional portrayals of conservatorship, known in New York as Guardianship. As with most on-screen productions, there may be more dramatic fiction at work than factual portrayal. A reasonable viewer would be worried about the prospect of guardianship, and maybe with good reason. A guardianship…

Senior Father With Adult Son Relaxing On Sofa At Home
Special Education Advocacy

Proposed Legislation Regarding Home and Community-based Medicaid Waivers Aims to Improve Access to Services

By Arshi Pal, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers allow individuals who are otherwise eligible for Medicaid to receive supports and services in the home and community setting, instead of being served in an institution-like or more restrictive setting. HCBS waivers provide, among other things, supportive employment, integrated day…

Happy Senior Couple On Vacation at the Beach
Special Needs Planning

Will The Stimulus Check Affect Your Government Benefits?

By Brian L. Miller, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP With the $1.9 trillion stimulus package that was recently signed into law, many Americans are scheduled to receive a $1,400 stimulus check in the coming weeks.  This has caused people with disabilities wondering if the stimulus payment will impact their eligibility for government benefits.  Government benefits such…