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Monroeville Legal Blog

Addressing mental health concerns as part of an IEP

Mental health is one of those issues cloaked in social silence. The curtain is drawing back somewhat. The movement toward achieving mental health parity in the provision of health care benefits is one sign of that. Still, evidence remains strong in Alabama and elsewhere that more needs to be done. A recent research letter published on JAMANetwork.com serves as an example.

The authors conclude from a large survey of U.S. parents that about 8 million school-aged children have received an official diagnosis of at least one form of mental health issue. However, only about half of them receive the help they need. This begs a question; do public schools need to do more in the context of the Individualized Education Program (IEP)?

Who helps develop an IEP?

Creating an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for a child with special needs in Alabama is not an easy task. You can’t just have a few people lay out a kid’s educational future within a couple of minutes. It is a team effort requiring multiple perspectives to get the job done.

Before you set up those meetings to lay out the child’s IEP, you should know which people are crucial towards ensuring that this plan will be beneficial for everyone. Your child deserves the best care and an education that is both accessible and challenging to them just like everyone else.

How many times can I appeal an SSDI denial?

Football coaching great, Vince Lombardi, said, "It does not matter how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get up." That's a fine adage for football players who expect to find themselves hitting the ground a lot.

If you have suffered a disabling injury, however, the issue isn't how many times you get up, but whether you can get up at all. Social Security Disability Insurance exists for those who can't return to the field of everyday work life and are eligible for the financial support. Unfortunately, statistics bear out that obtaining benefits requires much the same determination as called for by Lombardi.

Working from home can pose interesting workers' comp questions

A lot has changed in the past 10 years when it comes to employment models. The standard of reporting to a company site to fulfill the work has changed dramatically. According to one analysis of U.S. Census data, the population of regular business employees that works some time from home has increased 140 percent since 2005.

This can raise some interesting issues for employers and employees alike. For example, consider a scenario in which an employee chooses to work from home and is injured during business hours. Under Alabama workers' compensation law, every employee is entitled to claim the benefits required by statute if they suffer injury in the scope of their work. What are the chances of a denied claim?

Exercising special ed rights requires understanding conditions

Children don't come with handbooks. Parenting can involve a lot of trial and error. That can create a lot of anxiety, a situation that only compounds if a child receives a diagnosis of having one of the developmental issues encompassed by the autistic spectrum.

Such determinations can leave Alabama parents feeling at a loss, unaware of what they can or should do. On the positive side, federal laws exist meant to ensure that every child receives a free and appropriate public education. Fighting for your rights as established in those laws can be a challenge. In the face of such difficulties, it's helpful to work with an attorney skilled in this area of practice.

A 2019 fresh start is possible, even if school's half over

Yogi Berra wisely said, "It ain't over till it's over." Quibble with his grammar, but the message is sound regarding his forte, baseball. Many experts agree it applies to education, too.

The second half of the Monroeville school year is revving up after the winter break. Whether your child is average or in an individualized education plan (IEP) because of special needs, the return to school after the holidays can be challenging. Federal law requires that schools deliver an appropriate public education. School officials may need to be held to account, but experts say there are things parents can do, themselves, to get children on track after the break.

Why winter is a dangerous season for nurses

The medical industry can have some of the most physically and mentally daunting jobs in the nation. Even though most of them focus on saving sick or injured patients, there have been plenty of times where they need saving themselves. Nurses often rank high when it comes to the amount of workplace injuries every year.

Arguably one of the most dangerous times to work at the hospital is during the winter months. The risks for the most common injuries nurses receive increases dramatically around this season. Workers should be aware of the potential threats that await so they can take precautions before clocking in.

The disruption that comes with interagency disputes

Anyone experienced in dealing with Alabama motor vehicle accidents appreciates that while a deadly collision happens in an instant, it takes weeks, months, sometimes even years, to resolve a case. Managing life after the crash and the complicated legal proceedings related to protecting victim rights and holding liable parties accountable is easier with a skilled attorney at your side.

Conducting a thorough investigation of events and assessing conditions of the vehicles involved in an accident is key to successful pursuit of any injury or damage claim. It would be nice to think that we could count on the expertise of government investigators to produce reports that serve as the foundation of such claims, but as a recent significant case from another state shows, sometimes even that proves difficult.

Sometimes a good goal is to shoot for less than perfect

Imagine this picture. An 11-year-old student retreats to his room to do homework after supper. At 11 p.m. you knock and enter and find him surrounded by crumpled papers, broken pencils and in a sobbing heap. The child has attention deficit disorder (ADD), also called ADHD, and this is what hours of homework has led to.

While most people might not associate perfectionism with ADD/ADHD, the reality is that extreme meticulousness can be a one manifestation of the conditions. A child with attention deficit, when confronted with a challenging bit of homework, sees a dense forest. He or she can't see a path through the trees to completion. Anxiety and perhaps depression strikes.

Tips to advocate better for your child with Down Syndrome

A great deal of progress has been made in understanding individuals with Down Syndrome. Prior to the 1980s, history records that the vast majority of individuals with this genetic anomaly spent their lives in institutions. Experts generally believed those with the condition couldn't learn. Today, we know that isn't true. Indeed, the tide has shifted such that most children with Down syndrome in Alabama attend regular schools. Many live full lives. Some have even obtained college degrees.

One key law supporting this movement is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). That law guarantees other-abled individuals the right to a free, public education in the least restrictive environment. And by requiring Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for each student, the law strives to ensure the greatest level of learning success. Parents play a crucial role in protecting those rights.

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