Free seminar, 'Education Rights of Students with Disabilities,' for parents of special needs children

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Monday, February 29, 2016

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A free lecture series aims to help parents of special needs children navigate the school system with their child's rights in mind.

Children with special needs qualify for special education services from birth to age 3 through the state-run Early Intervention Program. But the transition from Early Intervention to Chicago Public Schools or a private school can seem daunting for some families.

Now, Chicago Pediatric Therapy & Wellness Center has partnered with an attorney for Equip for Equality to present the series, titled "Education Rights of Students with Disabilities: Preparing for the Early Intervention Transition and Beyond."

"We want parents to leave the seminar with a better understanding of their child's rights and concrete tips to ensure their child receives the appropriate special education services once he or she has turned 3-years-old," said Rose McLean, physical therapist and founder of the center.

The first presentation, held Thursday, featured Rachel Shapiro, attorney for Equip for Equality. In addition to a question-and-answer session, topics in the series include:

-What to expect when a child transitions from Early Intervention to Early Childhood Services.

-Steps to ensure the child receives the appropriate services after aging out of Early Intervention.

-The basics of special education law once a child has turned 3-years-old.

-What to do if a parent disagrees with a school district decision regarding special education services or placement.

The lecture series is open to the public, and free childcare and parking are provided during presentations. The next event, tentatively planned in April, will be announced on the center's website.

Chicago Pediatric Therapy & Wellness Center:

1739 N. Elston, Chicago, IL 60642