Understanding Your Rights and Recognizing Red Flags (free) Hosted by Matt Cohen & Associates:

Matt Cohen and Associates Banner

Understanding Your Rights and Recognizing Red Flags (free) Hosted by Matt Cohen & Associates: 

Date: September 28,

Time: 12:00 – 1:30 PM

For parents new to special education  and for those looking for a refresher on the many moving parts of special education law and IEPs.

Join Matt Cohen & Associates for an overview of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process and learn about your student’s right to special education services.

· Find out how to get services for your student
· Learn how IEPs work section-by-section
· Make a plan for your next meeting with the

Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/tZEqcOmgqTsvGNQePz0E0QAYbxtGjOyYWH15/success?user_id=p_FZ4ob_RKuFVJ4U4BqNRw&timezone_id=America%2FChicago

Who We Are, What We do

FRCD T-ShirtDo you understand how the special education system works in Illinois? Family Resource Center on Disabilities is here for you to help you navigate this complex system. Learn what your local Parent Training and Information Center can do for you.

Lunch and Learn Webinar: Special Education Rights Training and What Parents Need to Know About Remote Learning and Returning to School

Collage of diverse familiesThis training is an overview of IDEA (Individual with Disabilities Education Act) which is the law that protects the rights of children receiving special education services.

Aspects covered:

  • Evaluation process
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP),
  • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE),
  • Procedural Safeguards.
  • Special Education and Remote Learning
  • Returning to School

Friendly and Productive IEP Meetings CANCELLED

FRCD  trainer training parentsThis workshop provides practical tips & techniques that can increase the productivity of an IEP meeting. Implementing these ideas can help districts & parents have forward-looking and creative IEP meetings which can set the stage for a constructive relationship that can continue throughout the student’s educational program.

WEBINAR: An Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder/Autism Speaks Family Services Supports and Resources and Support Session 1

Autism Speaks LogoFamily Resource Center on Disabilities is happy to kick off Autism Awareness Month with two powerful webinars presented by Autism Speaks’ Manager of Community Outreach for the Midwest Region, Colleen Shinn.  These webinars are a two part of series:

Part One will focus on understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder and Resources available to parents of children with Autism.

Part Two will focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder and behavior.

Presenter: Colleen Shinn is the Manager of Community Outreach for the Midwest Region in the Family Services division of Autism Speaks. Prior to joining Autism Speaks, she most recently worked for Easter Seals as the Training Specialist and Manager of The Autism Program (TAP) Service Centers for Chicago and Rockford. She was responsible for the development and implementation of curriculum and staff development, comprehensive professional training for employees, families and professionals, supervision of full and part time employees, interns and clinical staff, local and national legislative activities, coordinating and leading the Autism Strategic Planning Committee, and extensive community outreach

Ms. Shinn is formally trained in Applied Behavioral Analysis, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS,) and DIR Floor time. She is an active member on the Coalition Against Sexual Abuse of Children with Disabilities through the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center, the Midwest Autism Consortium, and the Illinois Autism Task Force.  Ms. Shinn is fluent in Sign Language and is a Board Certified and Licensed Occupational Therapy Assistant with an extensive background in Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has more than 30 years of experience in Early Intervention, Inclusion, and Early Childhood Special Education. She has presented both locally and nationally on topics related to Autism.


IEP Check-Ins Session

conversation between parent and volunteer

Do you have specific questions about your child’s  Individualized Education Plan (IEP)?  Make an appointment during FRCD’s IEP Check-In sessions and one of our parent trainers will sit down with you and comb through your child’s IEP.    We ask that you read the IEP prior to your IEP Check-In Session and bring a copy for the parent trainer to go through with you.



 is coming to Effingham, IL

Family Matters Parent and Training Information Center LogoFamily Matters Parent Training and Information Center and StarNet Region IV are pleased to announce that:

 is coming to Effingham, IL
September 18th and 19th, 2015
Join Family Matters as Rick shares his sensitive and compelling messages about learning disabilities and social skills issues.

If you want to register by phone call 866-436-7842, x3516 or visit http://www.fmptic.org/node/3559

You may remember Rick best for his presentation “How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop (Frustration, Anxiety, Tension)”. Rick has delivered his message to over 500,000 parents and professionals throughout North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. He has appeared on the TODAY Show, CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, ABC Evening News and Walt Disney Presents.
Rick has served as an administrator of residential programs for children with special needs for 30 years and holds three degrees in Special Education and two Honorary Doctorates in Education from the University of Massachusetts and Mitchell College (CT).

Friday, September 18, 2015

  • 9:30-10:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast
  • 10:00-12:00 The Motivation Breakthrough: Turning on the Tuned-Out Child
  • 12:00-1:00 Lunch on your own
  • 1:00-3:00 Fairness: The Key to Effective Behavior Management


Saturday, September 19, 2015

  • 9:00-9:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast
  • 9:30-11:30 It’s So Much Work To Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success
  • 11:30-12:00 Break with Snacks
  • 12:00-2:00 Presentation continues with additional information on The Hidden Curriculum and The Social Implications to Learning Disabilities

    Thelma Keller Convention Center at The Holiday Inn
1202 N Keller Drive, Effingham, IL, 62401

Cost: $20 for one day, $30 for both days
  Registration Deadline: Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Parents may call 866-436-7842, x3516 if interested in a registration fee scholarship.

Professional Development Units for Educators will be offered if requested upon registration.

The Motivation Breakthrough: Turning On The Tuned-Out Child
This workshop begins with an exploration of some of the common misconceptions related to student motivation and some of the common strategies that are ineffective: competition, reward systems, and punishment. Specific approaches and strategies will then be presented that will enable teachers and parents to motivate students and maintain that motivation throughout the school year.

Fairness: The Key to Effective Behavior Management Topics explored during this workshop: uses and abuses of competition in the inclusive classroom, the doctrine of fairness, learning as a quantum experience, dealing with conflict, teaching the “hidden curriculum” of social skills, multidisciplinary vs. transdisciplinary approaches to the team meeting.

It’s So Much Work To Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success The majority of people with learning disorders have marked difficulty perceiving, understanding, and responding to social situations. Social isolation, rejection, and humiliation are often the result. This session will explore the relationship between learning disabilities and social incompetence and strategies will be presented that can be used by parents, teachers, and coaches and caregivers to assist students in gaining peer acceptance and developing age-appropriate social skills.

Navigating the Transition Plan: Special Education Rights Webinar

Transition-March-11Preparing your child to transition to adulthood can be a daunting task. This webinar will focus on the initial steps of the transition process in the Illinois special education system from an academic perspective. The topics covered include:

-Defining transition plans and their components
-Understanding transition services
-Tips for parents preparing their child for adulthood.

Navigating the Evaluation Process in Six Steps

One day you are bringing your new born home from the hospital for the first time and the next day he/she is headed out the door for their first day of kindergarten.  Obviously this is an exaggeration, but the point is kids grow up fast!   Building an academic foundation is key to developing successful life long learners.  However, not every child learns the same way.  Building your child’s academic foundation can be painfully difficult if your child has diverse learning needs. Without the appropriate help, your child could fall critically behind and face significant challenges in their adult years as a result. You might ask yourself, “How would I know if my child has diverse learning needs and may possibly benefit from special education services?

Answer these questions for yourself.

  • Is your child consistently receiving failing grades on homework assignments and tests?
  • Do you constantly get calls from your child’s school about his or her behavior?
  • Did you receive a note from your child’s teacher requesting that your child be evaluated for special education services?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to have your child evaluated to see if he/she could benefit from special education services or a 504 plan.  Addressing your child’s challenges early in his/her academic career can provide them with life long tools to navigate future challenges such as employment, college and adult life in the community.

If you do suspect your child need special education services request an evaluation.  Below are  6 steps parents can take to acquire an evaluation of their child.

Step 1: Request an Evaluation

Parents should write a letter to the school district requesting that their child be evaluated for special education services.  It helps to include principals and case managers when submitting the letter so that everyone is on the same page.

Step 2: District Decides to Proceed

Within 14 school days the school district will decide whether or not  to proceed with an evaluation for the child in question. Either way, parents should receive a letter stating that the school district will evaluate the child or the school district will not evaluate the child with an explanation regarding their decision.

Step 3: Parents Consent to Evaluate

Before any evaluation can get underway, parents must consent to the evaluation.  In many cases consent can be given in the Request for Evaluation letter in ( see step one.)  However, school districts may have their own forms for parents to complete, so check to make sure.

Step 4: Evaluation Takes Places

School Districts have 60 school days to complete the evaluation and hold a conference with the parents to share the findings of the evaluation.  Please note: 60 school days begin once consent to evaluate has been given to the school district to proceed.

Step 5: Eligibility Conference is Held

Once the evaluation is complete, a meeting is held to discuss whether an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is appropriate for the student based on the findings of the evaluation.  If an IEP is appropriate for the student then the IEP team and the parents develop an IEP for the student.

Step 6: Parents Consent to Placement

Parents must provide written formal consent to placement before special education services can begin.  Services will begin 10 days after parents provide their consent, unless the parents specify they want their child placed sooner.

Information in this blog post is taken from the “Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in IllinoisChapter Three “Evaluation and Referral” written by the Illinois State Board of Education Special Education and Support Services (June 2009)


Additional Resources 

Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois

Chapter Three “Evaluation and Referral” of Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Education in Illinois

“Evaluating Children for Disabilities” http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/evaluation/

“Requesting an Independent Evaluation”     http://www.parentcenterhub.org/repository/iee-3/

Family Resource Center on Disabilities is the region one parent training and information center for Illinois. We provide special education training, support, and information  parents of children with disabilities. Visit www.frcd.org or call  (312)-939-3513.

9th College Work Transition Summit for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities

Mayor's Office For People with Disabilities LogoMayor's Office For People with Disabilities Logo9th College Work Transition Summit for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities


Saturday ● April 18, 2015
2102 West Ogden
Chicago, IL

This event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.
To register please visit: http://events.autismspeaks.org/TownHallChicago
For more information, please contact
(224) 867-8573