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The Spectrum Experience and IEP Basics - What You Need To Know

  • Thursday, October 21, 2021
  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Online via Zoom
  • 76

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  • TSE & IEP Basics

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Event Description: 

The Spectrum Experience and IEP Basics - What You Need To Know will provide parents, teachers, and caregivers with knowledge of what an IEP is, and how to write an IEP that has measurable goals, and complies with IDEA.

Presented by:


Blair Dunigan, a 2000 graduate of Western New England University School of Law, maintains a legal practice in Hendersonville, TN with a focus in the areas of mental health law and special education. Mrs. Dunigan began her law career in the Davidson County Public Defender’s Office, where she was the first appointed attorney for the Mental Health Court. Following this appointment, she worked as the appointed General Counsel to the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute, for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities from 2001-2006. Ms. Dunigan also served as Assistant Adjunct Professor for Vanderbilt University, Department of Medicine, in the School of Psychiatry from 2002-2007. She has been a guest speaker for several organizations statewide and continues to provide legal training in the area of mental health law and special education to the community and in the educational setting. She is currently on the Board of Directors for Autism, TN, and as a defense bar representative of the Sumner County Youth Empowerment program. As an advocate and attorney in the field of special education, Mrs. Dunigan represents the family’s interest and works with families and their schools to build relationships and strengthen their specialized education plans.

Julie Hochman is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with nearly 15 years’ experience in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Ms. Hochman earned her bachelor’s degree from New York University and her master’s degree from Vanderbilt where she also completed the Behavior Analysis Certification program. Her areas of specialization include teaching  communication to nonverbal individuals and the assessment and treatment of individuals with persistent maladaptive behavior and complex support needs, including co-occurring psychiatric disorders. In addition to her clinical work, Ms. Hochman is a knowledgeable and experienced special education advocate having assisted countless families navigate the IFSP, IEP, and 504 plan process. She has participated in both mediation and due process hearings at the State and District level. Ms. Hochman was an active participant in legislative efforts that resulted in the successful passage of autism insurance reform and behavior analyst licensure in the state of TN. Ms. Hochman also served as an inaugural member of the Autism Treatment Network Advisory Committee at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Ms. Hochman has published 6 peer reviewed journal articles and has presented her research nationally.  She is currently the Tennessee Director of Behavioral Health for Merakey, a national leader of innovative solutions and new models of care in developmental, educational, and behavioral health services.

Workshop Goal(s): 

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Name the different parts of an IEP.
  2. Write appropriate present levels of performance statements.
  3. Develop measurable objectives and goals.
  4. Know the difference between modifications and accommodations.
  5. Know the different types of support and services that mabe available.
  6. Give 2 or more examples of appropriate measurement of progress.
  7.  Know what is meant by least restrictive environment (LRE) as stated in the IDEA.


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