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Video Modeling for IEP Meetings With Attorney and Advocate: Your Special Education Rights

Free ticketManaging Editor's Note:   There is a terrific new FREE service to assist families with IEP meetings from early intervention to adult services transition (see video below.) Based in Connecticut, I'm proud to say that I know Julie Swanson and Jen Laviano and how they have helped so many families with their special ed legal rights.  They use video modeling (sound familiar?) to show YOU what words to use in an IEP meeting and how to translate some of the "jargon" educators will use to avoid giving your child services.  Membership is FREE.  You can register at Your Special Education Rights.

What is YourSpecialEducationRights.com?

This site is the first and only video-based special education resource for parents and advocates. The site was developed by Special Education Attorney Jennifer Laviano, Disability Rights Advocate Julie Swanson and Mazzarella Media,one of the nation’s leading educational content providers. The site’s primary purpose is to empower parents with the knowledge and understanding they need to advocate for their child’s education through engaging video programs. Never before have parents had the ability to learn about their rights in such a practical, user-friendly format. Members have access to a continuously updated video library, blogs and community forums with other parents and experts.


Why did we create YSER?

“I’ve had so many parents tell me over the years that nobody at the school is listening to them,” says Julie Swanson, Special Education Advocate. “I know how intimidating it can be to attend an IEP meeting – you’re in a room full of people and feel completely outnumbered. We’re here to empower parents with information so they feel prepared for that next IEP meeting.”
“One of the hardest things for me to hear from parents is that their lack of knowledge has resulted in a lack of service for their child,” explained Jennifer Laviano, Special Education Attorney. “Julie and I are absolutely convinced that the outcomes for kids whose parents know their rights and are able to exert them, are far better than when they don’t, which is why we came up with this site.”
Bios (Click below the jump for two videos on adult transition.)

Attorney Jennifer Laviano is in private practice in Connecticut. Her representation of children with special needs encompasses the full spectrum of advocacy under the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ), from attendance at IEP Team meetings and Mediation, to zealous and experienced litigation in Due Process Hearings and Federal Court. Ms. Laviano is a regular presenter, both locally and nationally, on the subject of the special legal rights of children with disabilities and their entitlement to receive a Free and Appropriate Education, and authors the popular blog www.SpecialEdJustice.com.
Julie Swanson is in private practice as a special education advocate in Connecticut. After her son was diagnosed with autism, Ms. Swanson decided to change careers and returned to school to obtain an additional degree as a Disability Specialist. Her practice is exclusively dedicated to helping parents of children with disabilities obtain appropriate special education services. Ms. Swanson's website www.yourspecialchild.com is dedicated to the everyday needs of children who have autism spectrum disorders.

Here's another video.



Marie Watson

Finding the right words to express my child's unique needs has always been difficult for me. It's really empowering to have a resource that teaches me how to better understand when educators are violating my child's special education rights. Thank you for providing this user-friendly resource for parents like me.

 Mary Beth Palo

This is fabulous!!!! I am so happy that people are realizing the power of video.... Watch this, imitate, practice and you will have this skill mastered - try to do it with a friend and you will then have generalized the skill.
So happy this is available.!!!!!

Donna L.

That did the trick, Kim! THANK YOU!!
(does clearing your cache count as housecleaning?) ;)


Donna, try refreshing your browser or clearing your cache - seems like an issue between the site and your computer - others are signing up. If that doesn't work, email me and I'll put you in touch with the YSER web team. Sorry for the hassle! KIM

Donna L.

Does anyone know if there is a trick to signing up? I've tried for weeks now and can't get past the security code. I even emailed their tech support but never heard back.

Barbara Sibley

Jen and Julie are the real deal. Throughout their years of experience advocating for kids and parents, they've seen first-hand the ploys and tactics that school administrators will use to deny services to children who would so obviously benefit (many times, by taking advantage of parents who are easily confused by the system.). Their free service on YourSpecialEducationRights.com is a huge asset to parents seeking to empower themselves and support the best interests of their child at an upcoming IEP--and parents otherwise intimidated by the cost and time of navigating the complex system of special education rights on their own. As a mom of a child on the autism spectrum, I'm so grateful for what I've learned on YSER, and I highly recommend it to other parents.

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