Subj:    THE SPECIAL ED ADVOCATE, VOL. II, NO. 3 (January 25, 1999)
Date:    1/24/99 9:15:21 PM Pacific Standard Time
From: (Pam & Pete Wright)

The Special Ed Advocate

The Online Newsletter About

Special Education and the Law

January 25, 1999 Vol. II, No. 3

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The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special
education legal issues, cases, tactics and strategy, effective
educational methods, and Internet links.

We publish this newsletter occasionally, when time permits. Back issues
of The Special Ed Advocate are archived at our web site -

As a subscriber to The Special Ed Advocate, you will receive
announcements and "alerts" about new cases and other events. You will
find contact, copyright, and subscription information can be found at
the end of this newsletter.


1. 4th Circuit Issues Decision on Attorneys Fees in “Erickson v. Bd.
Educ. Baltimore County.”

2. Legal News: Cedar Rapids v. Garret F.

3. Letter to Wrightslaw from a Florida Mom

4. Help Needed in Bombay, India.

5. COMING SOON! The Wrightslaw Special Education Survival Guide

6. 5 STARS: Teaching the Tiger

7. Subscription Information

8. Contact Information


1. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Issues New
Decision on Attorneys Fees in Erickson v. Bd. Educ. Baltimore County.

"The statute provides that

[i]n any action or proceeding brought under this subsection, the court,
in its discretion, may award reasonable attorneys' fees as part of the
costs to the parents or guardian of a child or youth with a disability
who is the prevailing party." 20 U.S.C.A. § 1415(e)(4)(B) (West
Supp. 1998).”

This means that parents who prevail in special education litigation may
be reimbursed for their reasonable attorneys’ fees.

But what happens if the prevailing parent is also the attorney who
represented the child? This is the question that the Fourth Circuit
wrestled with in “Erickson v. Board of Education for Baltimore County”-

“This case presents the question of whether attorney's fees are to be
awarded for the legal services performed by an attorney in obtaining
special education benefits for his child under the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act. The district court held that there was no
entitlement to fees in these circumstances. We affirm.”

To read this new decision about attorneys’ fees to parents and
parent-attorneys, go to -


2. Legal News: Cedar Rapids v. Garret F.

Although the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in November, they
have not issued a decision in “Cedar Rapids v. Garret F.” We will
continue to monitor news from Supreme Court and will send an
announcement to newsletter subscribers when the decision is issued.


3. NEW! Letter to Wrightslaw from a Florida Mom

"We finished our due process hearing yesterday. Your website was such an
integral part of my life and my case for so many months. You seem to be
a part of the process for me.”

“I want to thank you for the support during those dry months in the
wilderness. You were an oasis of information for me.”

Last week, we received this email from a Florida Mom. She shared
thoughts and experiences from her due process hearing – and at one
point, she wrote, “It was all I could do not to laugh.”


We asked her to write a short article that will include resources and
advice for parents about how to handle “challenges” from the school

To read some very good advice – and find out why this Florida Mom wanted
to laugh, go to


4. Help Needed in Bombay, India.

On January 17, 1999, Jeanette Fernandes of Bombay, India left a detailed
message on our new "Feedback" page. She said that her son was just
diagnosed with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia but "has excellent
reasoning power and his spoken English language is excellent."

"Here in India, invisible disabilities like LD are not understood or
recognized and there are no such things as IEPs that you may have in the

"He is extremely talented in the field of computers and wants very much
to graduate in Computer Engineering . . . If he were to apply to an
American university would he have trouble getting him admission there
because he is an international student (Indian) and because he is also

Jeanette had other questions. Do you have any advice for her? To read
her message and messages from others at the Feedback page, go to

Scroll down to the end of this page to get to the Feedback page.

Please send your responses directly to her at
- feel free to send us a copy of your email.


5. COMING SOON! The Special Education Survival Guide

In the January 6, 1999 issue of The Special Ed Advocate, we gave you a
progress report about our books. We had shifted our attention away from
the parent book and onto the book about Special Education Law. Because
we expected that the final regulations would be issued several months
ago, we planned to make the “The IDEA Book” available in 1998.

Unfortunately, the final regulations implementing IDEA 97 have not been
released. The law book is on the back burner. We have returned our
attention to -

The Special Education Survival Guide – OR The Wrightslaw Special
Education Survival Guide.

Depending on editing and revising schedules, “The Wrightslaw Special
Education Survival Guide” should be available this Spring. As a
subscriber to The Special Ed Advocate newsletter, you’ll receive an
announcement about pre-publication offers. We are building a new page
for the website – you’ll be able to go to this page to check on the
status of books.


6. FIVE STARS to “Teaching the Tiger”

“Teaching the Tiger: A Handbook for Individuals Involved in the
Education of Students With Attention Deficit Disorders, Tourette
Syndrome or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” by Marilyn P. Dornbush and
Sheryl K. Pruitt

"The best practical reference book for educators who work with students
with Tourette Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, and/or Obsessive
Compulsive Disorder" says one reviewer.

"The authors do an excellent job of explaining how these disorders
affect emotions, thought processes, and overt behavior . . . educational
techniques are practical, "everyday useful," interventions."

"It's definitely not just for the special educator - counselors, social
workers, school psychologists, classroom teachers, and paraprofessionals
will find it a useful resource."

Click here for more information about “Teaching the Tiger.”


7. Subscription Information

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8. Contact Information

Pete and Pam Wright
c/o The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Phone: 804-257-0857



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D. Wright.

It is not necessary to obtain our consent to link to our website or
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Copyright 1999, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights