New Mission

New Mission


My mission is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues.

I would like to visit and observe different types of schools that have proven records of success, wherever those schools may be. I would like to meet with school directors and administrators, government officials, leaders in the business world, and others who are responsible for implementing education systems or otherwise connected to education to learn more about how education is being addressed in their communities.

If you know of any remarkable schools in other parts of the world (especially special needs schools), please let me know about them. If you know of any education experts who are engaged in remarkable work in this field, please introduce me to them.

Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas regarding the above. Read more about my mission here.

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Planning Beyond Tomorrow: Special Needs Panel Presentation on Wednesday, July 24

I will be participating in a panel presentation called Planning Beyond Tomorrow on Wednesday, July 24.  The purpose of the presentation is to connect with individuals who have, or work with, children with special needs and to educate the audience about how to plan appropriately for the needs of a person with special needs.  On the panel I will be joined by Dr. Lauren Tobing-Puente, a licensed psychologist who has experience assessing children's unique profiles; Sarah Moskowitz, a trusts and estates attorney who has experience with wills, supplemental needs trusts, and guardianship; and Jacqueline Engel, a financial advisor who has experience with financial planning, tax strategies, and government benefits.  I will be presenting on the topic of defending children's educational rights and pursuing appropriate educational programs and services.

Below please find a copy of the flyer containing more information about the panelists:


Here is a link to the formal invitation, including the event location and RSVP information:

http://jacquelineengel.nm.com/EventSite.cfm?event_ID=87333

Please RSVP if you plan to attend.  It will be a great event and we hope to see you there.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Father's Day

This Sunday I will be celebrating my second Father's Day.  During the course of the day, I expect that my wife and I will reflect on my daughter's birth 21 months ago, how much she has grown since then, and the happy memories we have shared together as a family.

I continue to be amazed by my daughter's development.  The way she has learned to put words together, for example, is fascinating ("Daddy, sit, floor" or "more...melon" or, on occasion, "some...pancakes").  She is attuned to the weather ("sunny day" or "windy").  When she has had a rough day and just wants to cuddle up and unwind, she asks for "cozy" and "book."  She has learned how to tug on our heart strings, asking for "huggies," especially when we are putting her to sleep at night and she wants us to stick around longer.  She has become fast friends with her gray plush dog and runs around our home asking "Gray, where are you?"  Her problem solving abilities impress me too.  Like when something fell underneath the couch out of our reach and she suggested "broom" to help us corral the item.  When I came back from the gym sweaty one morning, she said "yucks" (admittedly, with some prompting from my wife) followed by "clean, head, shower."  Every day is an adventure and the first 21 months have been quite a ride. 

At the same time that my wife and I will be reflecting on the past, we will be looking to the future.  In particular, we will be wondering what our lives will be like in just a few short weeks when my wife is expected to give birth to twins.  I cannot imagine what life will be like then but were are very excited (and a little nervous) to find out.

To the other fathers out there, on behalf of my family and my firm, I would like to wish you a very special Father's Day.  I hope it is a day filled with joy, togetherness, and quality time with your children and loved ones.

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Office Outing at Chelsea Piers

On Tuesday evening this week we unglued ourselves from our chairs, separated from our desks, and just generally unplugged in order to enjoy an office outing playing mini golf at Chelsea Piers.

While the faces below may look friendly, the competition was on and the stakes were high.


The sun was shining, the sky was clear, and the breeze was delightful as we made our way through the golf course.  We challenged each other over 18 holes and, at the conclusion, a winner was crowned and a prize was awarded.   

It was a great night and a fun time all around!

Monday, May 20, 2019

MCC Seeds Of Hope Gala 2019

Last week Amled, Phil, and I attended the Manhattan Children's Center's (MCC) Seeds Of Hope Gala at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers.


It was a beautiful evening with tasty dishes in a spacious room overlooking the Hudson River. Rain and fog obstructed the view at the start of the evening but eventually cleared to reveal captivating views of the river and skyline as boats scurried by and nighttime descended.

As always, it was nice to catch up with old friends and meet new people. The absolute highlight of the evening was bumping into a client and learning that she and her son would be featured in the evening's video. As is sometimes the case, Amled, Phil, and I hadn't met this child previously, even though our firm has been representing him for the last several years. We were filled with joy to see and hear how much he has grown and developed over his years at MCC. Following his progress through a multimedia lens in this unique setting was special, and, needless to say, quite different from our normal perspective based on progress reports and legal documents.

Watching the video, I was reminded of the beauty in the work that we do. It is an amazing feeling to observe the results of the special education supports we fight for on our clients' behalf.

Thank you to our client for her courage in sharing her experiences at the gala, and for the opportunity to represent her son and to play a role in his growth and development over the years.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Manhattan Star Academy Open House on Tuesday, May 7

Manhattan Star Academy (MSA) will be offering an Open House on Tuesday, May 7 for families who would like to learn more about the school's program.

MSA is a private special education school located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan that seeks to support and empower children with global developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, speech and language delays, and neuro-developmental disabilities.  MSA utilizes a comprehensive, tailored approach to meet the needs of children with a variety of skill sets.  Academic curricula and classroom structure incorporate elements from Applied Behavioral Analysis/Verbal Behavior, TEACCH, and Floortime models. 

I will be attending the Open House to field questions from parents regarding the special education legal process, including how to pursue tuition reimbursement.

If you think you might be interested in attending this event, please see below.

OPEN HOUSE

Manhattan Star Academy will be offering an Open House on Tuesday, May 7 at 9:30 a.m. at 180 Amsterdam Ave, 2nd floor, sanctuary.

You can register for the Open House here: 


Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the individuals listed below.

Thank you for your continuous support of Manhattan Star Academy.

Martina Remy
Coordinator of Admissions
msaadmissions@yai.org
646.795.3850, ext. 1810

Phyllis Platin
Assistant to Coordinator of Admissions
646.795.3850

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Autism Awareness Day

Today is Autism Awareness Day and I wanted to recognize it with a short post.

I first became aware of autism in the spring of 2005.  I was completing my psychology major while abroad at Middlesex University in London.  That experience altered the course of my life.  Had it not been for a small section in a psychology textbook at a school in the UK that sparked my interest in autism I might not be where I am today.

Over the last 15 years I have seen autism awareness increase exponentially.  Organizations like Autism Speaks have been instrumental in driving scientific research and educating the public.  Schools dedicated to instructing students with autism have mushroomed.  Legal battles have been fought and won.  Fundraisers like Night Of Too Many Stars have utilized celebrity to promote the cause.  Sesame Street has introduced Julia, a character with autism, to make children more aware of and sensitive to their peers.

I am proud to have represented numerous children with autism over the last 10 years of practice in the area of special education law.  Oftentimes children with autism require the most intensive interventions.  Our law firm is committed to fighting for the full array of services that they may require, both in school and at home, intensively and consistently, to ensure that they achieve meaningful progress in order to become independent, contributing members of society as much as possible.

I continue to be amazed by the strength of the parents we work with and the skills, expertise, and dedication of the professionals who work with our clients who have autism.

I look forward to continuing to spread awareness about autism and fight for those families who are affected by it.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

COPAA 2019 in New Orleans

This weekend I will be attending the 21st annual Council Of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) conference in New Orleans. 

The conference is a great opportunity to review recent developments in special education law and catch up with colleagues who practice in this area.

I am especially looking forward to the following break-out sessions:

  • The Markedly More Demanding Standard: Endrew F., Z.B., N.P. and the Promise of Special Education
  • Beyond the Black Letter of the Law: Innovative Strategies to Rescue Drowning Students, Develop Appropriate Programs, and Police Their Implementation

Besides the conference, I am excited to be heading to New Orleans for the opportunity to catch up with some family, enjoy delicious food, and bask in the warm weather. 

I also just want to take a moment to note how far our law firm has come since 2010 when I attended my first COPAA conference in Saint Louis and the firm was just a few months old.  Over the last nine years, our law firm has become one of the premier boutique special education law practices in New York City.  In 2018, the firm helped approximately 150 families secure appropriate placement and/or funding for their children in more than 30 schools.  Our team grew to include a second associate attorney, a paralegal, and a full-time office administrator. The firm consists of a dynamic legal and administrative team that focuses on representing individuals with a wide range of special needs and we have earned a reputation for exceptional results and outstanding client service.  

I am grateful for the families we have been able to help and the wonderful people I get to work with every day.  And I am looking forward to continued growth and client service in the future.