“That was the best IEP meeting I have ever attended”.
Amy graduated with honors from the Arizona State University College of Law and worked for 20 years as a civil litigation attorney, handling complex medical malpractice, employment discrimination and insurance cases. Amy served as president of the Arizona Trial Lawyers association and headed its amicus curiae (friend of the court) committee for 20 years. She was a member of the Board of Governors of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and served on its Amicus Curie Committee from 1987 until 2015, when she decided it was time that some younger attorneys bring new life to the organization. Prior to moving to California, Amy spent 12 years as a Judge Pro-Tem of the Maricopa County Superior Court where she rotated through a "floating" civil trial courtroom (to reduce backlog for the permanent judges) and served as a court assigned mediator/settlement judge.
Amy's special education training began as with many attorneys, when she got "THE DIAGNOSIS" for her first child when he was just 2. While Amy knew nothing about autism at the time, she left the office of the doctor she dubs "Dr. Doom and Gloom" and made it her life's mission to learn whatever she could to give her son whatever opportunity he could have, without predetermined limits or assumptions. Amy's first due process was filed when her son was 4. After winning that case, and then several more for her son, she started taking pro-bono and contingency fee special education cases in Arizona. In 2002, she decided to move to Coronado, California where there were better schools, more available resources, and a small, safe community for her children to call home. Amy now dedicates the majority of her working time to helping children with disabilities. She returns to Arizona to handle due process cases because of the need for litigation savvy attorneys with her special education background. In California, Amy attends IEP meetings in San Diego County. She helped create a special program for her own district for students who needed a self-contained program but could benefit from a college prep curriculum, like her son. While he was there, it served as a good transition to move him onto a comprehensive campus. He completed four years at his local high school, was a National Honor Society member, took AP classes and contemporaneously completed 11 community college classes. He then enrolled in a 4 year liberal arts University, graduating in three; he was inducted into the Mortar Board and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. After being accepted to seven law schools, he accepted one offer then deferred it so he could work in the "real world" for a while. In 2015, he moved to Oregon to attend law school. He is now a deputy district attorney in Oregon! Not bad for the kid who was projected to end up in a group home, according to that first prognosis. Amy's blog is dedicated to all the parents who told all the doom and gloom doctors "I told you so".
Amy Langerman is a licensed attorney in the State of Arizona and a special education consultant in San Diego County, California. She is also a parent of a child with special needs. Amy's unique collaborative style working with IEP teams in California often results in parents, teachers and administrators leaving the room saying...