Autism in Special Education: Legal Disputes Involving Students with Autism


Re-Broadcast on January 15, 2018

This course, presented by two nationally recognized special education attorneys, will provide a comprehensive overview of the different laws applicable to the education of students on the autism spectrum, including the IDEA and the Americans with Disabilities Act, focusing on issues and cases involving students with autism, and providing an overview of DSM-V and its impact on special education eligibility. The course is for school attorneys, parent attorneys, disability attorneys, educators, school board members, and attorneys in other practice areas who have an interest in special education law. In this guide to special education laws impacting students with autism, our experienced faculty will walk you through the differences between DSM-4 and DSM-5 as it applies to students with autism, legal ins and outs of proving need for eligibility for students on the spectrum, services, supports and placement of students on the autism spectrum, as well as discipline and bullying and harassment of students with autism. Learn how to handle special education legal issues for this unique population with confidence.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   Laws impacting students on the autism spectrum, including the IDEA and the Americans with Disabilities Act
•   IEP versus Section 504, IDEA and Due Process versus the ADA and OCR
•   Evaluations and Proving Need for Eligibility of, and Autism Label for, Students on the Spectrum
•   IEP’s for Students with Autism
•   Disciplinary Issues Involving Students with Autism
•   Bullying and Harassment of Students with Autism
•   Avenues of Dispute Resolution for Students on the Autism Spectrum

Date / Time: January 15, 2018

•   2:00 pm – 5:15 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 4:15 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 3:15 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 2:15 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 7 business days after the original recording date.


Lori Kirsch-Goodwin and Hope Kirsch are special education attorneys with Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC, representing students with disabilities and their families throughout Arizona. For over 15 years, they have devoted their practice to obtaining appropriate educational services, supports and placements for students from ages 3 to 22 in public schools, and higher education. Their practice involves IEP and 504 advocacy, student discipline, due process, OCR, bullying, restraint and seclusion, and appeals as well as personal injury limited to injuries at school. Lori and Hope are both admitted to the State and Federal District Courts in NY, NJ and AZ, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and both are AV® Preeminent™ rated (5.0 out of 5.0) by their peers and judges representing the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards.

lori-goowdinLori has been a litigation/trial attorney for nearly 30 years and has had over 30 jury trials. She entered the special education arena 15 years ago when one of her twin boys, who has autism, was evaluated for special education and related services, and has been advocating for and representing other families since. Lori brings her litigation skills to the table as well as her sensitivity for the families she represents. Lori also handles DDD and SSI appeals. Lori recently obtained a victory in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals involving the (lack of) appropriateness of a charter school’s selection of location for a private school for a student with ASD.

hope-kirschHope is a founding member of the Arizona special education law firm of Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC, where she partners with her sister Lori Kirsch-Goodwin. Hope is a licensed special education teacher and 20+ year litigation attorney. For over 15 years, she has represented students and their families throughout Arizona in all school related matters, from IEP advocacy to Due Process, appeals, 504s and OCR complaints, bullying, restraint and seclusion and personal injury. The firm handles disciplinary matters (suspensions, long-terms suspension, expulsions) of both special education and general education students, and in higher education as well. Hope was a special education teacher and special education coordinator for 18 years before embarking on a career in law. She worked in the New York City public schools in settings ranging from self-contained classes to special education day schools, day treatment programs and hospital programs. Throughout her career as an educator, Hope worked with students with autism, emotional disabilities and multiple disabilities. She has written hundreds of IEPs, served as a witness for the NYC Department of Education at due process hearings, and supervised and trained teachers in curriculum, methodology, writing IEPs and behavior management techniques. She earned a B.S. from Boston University in Special Education in 1975, an M.A. in Special Education from NYU in 1977, and she earned 30+ post-graduate credits in educational supervision and administration at NYU and Baruch College of the City of New York. She obtained her law degree from Brooklyn Law School’s evening division while continuing her work in education. Hope began her law career as a judicial clerk and then as a civil and commercial litigator as she began building a special education practice. Hope was instrumental in the passage of the very first and the most recent restraint and seclusion legislation, helping with the drafting and testifying before both the Senate and the House. It was Hope’s case against Deer Valley Unified School District that prompted the initial legislation addressing restraint and seclusion. Hope is on the Governing Board of Arizona Autism United (AZA United), a member of the Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys (COPAA), and a house manager for the Council of Jews with Special Needs. She is a frequent presenter nationally and throughout Arizona on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 and other education law topics, and regularly trains other attorneys, advocates, school administrators and staff, parents and providers in educational advocacy.

CLE Accreditation:
mylawCLE seeks approval in all states except VA.

CLE 3.00 – AK
CLE 3.00 – AL
CLE 3.00 – AR
CLE 3.00 – AZ
CLE 3.00 – CA
CLE 3.60 – CO
CLE 3.00 – DE
CLE 3.60 – FL
CLE 3.00 – GA
CLE 3.00 – HI

CLE 3.00 – IA
CLE 3.00 – ID
CLE 3.00 – IL
CLE 3.00 – IN
CLE 3.00 – KS
CLE 3.00 – KY
CLE 3.00 – LA
CLE 3.00 – ME
CLE 3.00 – MN
CLE 3.60 – MO

CLE 3.00 – MP
CLE 3.00 – MS
CLE 3.00 – MT
CLE 3.00 – NC
CLE 3.00 – ND
CLE 3.00 – NE
CLE 3.00 – NH
CLE 3.60 – NJ
CLE 3.00 – NM
CLE 3.00 – NV

CLE 3.60 – NY
CLE 3.00 – OH
CLE 3.60 – OK
CLE 3.00 – OR
CLE 3.00 – PA
CLE 3.60 – RI
CLE 3.00 – SC
CLE 3.00 – TN
CLE 3.00 – TX
CLE 3.00 – UT

N/A – VA
CLE 3.60 – VI
CLE 3.00 – VT
CLE 3.00 – WA
CLE 3.60 – WI
CLE 3.60 – WV
CLE 3.00 – WY

Accreditation Policy
myLawCLE will seek credit where attending attorneys are primarily licensed for all of its live webinars and live teleconferences, except in states which allow for reciprocity (see reciprocity section below). Credit for CLE in a self-study format is sought for in most states; however, some states do not allow for CLE credit to be earned in a self-study format (see the self-study section below). Many states typically decide whether a program qualifies for MCLE credit in their jurisdiction 4-8 weeks after the program application is submitted. For many live events, credit approval is not received prior to the program. Credit hours granted are subject to approval from each state.

Additionally, some states allow for credit to be granted on a 1:1 reciprocal basis for courses approved in another mandatory CLE jurisdiction state. This is known as a reciprocity provision and includes the following states: AK, AR, CO, FL, ME, MT, ND, NH, NJ, NY, PR, and SD. myLawCLE does not seek direct accreditation of live webinars or teleconferences in these states.

On-demand CLE
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myLawCLE offers a program and credit approval guarantee. If a registered attendee is unhappy with a CLE program they have attended, myLawCLE will offer that attended access to another complimentary CLE or a full refund in order to insure the attendee’s satisfaction.

Additionally, on all online CLE programs application for approval will be made in all states where attending attorneys are primarily licensed in. If a registered attorney does not receive credit from their state for any reason, a full refund will be granted.