Category Archives: > LD and the Law

+ How Much of Your Expenses Can Be Deducted?

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Thanks to Alyssa Roberts Boscarelli, who posted some links to this information on the Ohio Dyslexia Group Facebook page.

[I want to note that it’s always wise to double check any advice found here or on other sites.]

IRS Publication says

How much of the Expenses can you deduct?  You  can deduct on Schedule A (Form 1040) only the amount of your medical and dental expenses that is more than 7.5% of your AGE (Form 1040, line 38.)

For example, if :  the AGI is $40,000, 7.5% of that amount is  $3,000.  Any expense less than that would be non-deductible.

  1. Dependent:” You can include medical expenses you paid for your dependent.  The person must have been your dependent either at the time the medical services were provided, or at the time you paid the expenses.  A person generally qualifies as your dependent for this purpose if  A)the person was a “qualifying child” or a “qualifying relative” [check for the exact meaning of these terms] and  B) the person was a US citizen or national or a resident of the US, Canada, or Mexico.  (Adopted child: you may need to do further checking to locate “Exception for adopted child.”)
  2. Special Education: You can include — in medical expenses – fees you pay on a doctor’s recommendation for a child’s tutoring by a teacher who is specially trained and qualified to work with children who have learning disabilities caused by mental or physical impairments (including nervous system disorders).  You can also include the cost (tuition, meals and lodging) of attending a school that furnishes special education to help a child to overcome learning disabilities.  A doctor must recommend that the child attend the school.  Overcoming learning disabilities must be a principal reason for attending the school, and any ordinary education received must be incidental to the special education provided.   For a look at the link,

Information from the Journal of Accountancy

The Journal of Accountancy had headlines  that read “Dyslexia program tuition is a valid deduction;” and  “Special education is a medical expense.”

They give further details, saying that the IRS (in letter ruling 200521003) has held that tuition paid to a school program to help dyslexic children deal with their condition can be an IRC section 213(a) deductible medical expense.

The article notes that the  IRS first explained that “normal education” is not medical care.

For education to be considered medical care, a physician or other qualified professional must diagnose a medical condidtion that requires special education to correct it.  The school need not hire doctors, but it must have professional staff competent to design and supervise a curriculum providing such care.  Overcoming the disability must be the primary reason for the child attending the school.

Special Schools

From the Tax Research Consultant, we learn that a “special school” is distinguished by the substantive content of its curriculum.

Although ordinary education may be provided by the school, it must be incidental to enabling the student to compensate for or overcome a handicap so that the student will be prepared for future normal education or normal living.

The IRS privately ruled that the tuition, summer school, tutoring and transportation costs for a dyslexic child in a school that accepts only handicapped children with specific learning disabilities and has a curriculum tailored for learning disabled children are deductible.

Whether a school is a special school, however, is determined by the nature of the services received by the handicapped student — not with respect to the institution as a whole.

Examples of special schools:

  • Schools for training the mentally retarded.
  • Schools for average and above average students who have learning disabilities, with the purpose of providing an environment in which they can adjust to a normal competitive classroom situation.
  • A regular school’s curriculum that is specially designed to meet the needs of handicapped children whose IQ scores ranged between 50 and 75.  A class must be structured to educate students who were not able to profit from the education that was being offered through ordinary classroom instruction, but whose intellectual ability indicates the possibility of a degree of scholastic attainment with the help of specially trained teachers and special methods and materials.
  • A special school for a child with severe learning disabilities.


Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021 or email

+ Central Ohio: Upper Arlington Dyslexia Talk

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A Columbus group called UA-KID (Upper Arlington – Kids Identified with Dyslexia) announces its September Speaker Series.
On Thursday September 15th, Dr. Stephen Guy will address “Why They Don’t Show What They Know: Understanding and Helping the Student with Executive/Regulatory difficulties.”
  • Thursday, September 15
  • 7:00 pm
  • Upper Arlington Main Library – Friend’s Theater.

posted by Debbie Segor on Cobida/Facebook

tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards  614-579-5021  or email

+ Council for Learning Disabilities Conference in October

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The 33rd International Conference on Learning Disabilities will be held in Austin Texas on October 27-28, 2011.

Presented by The Council for Learning Disabilities, the theme is:

 Evidence-based Practices: How researchers develop evidence-based interventions, and how practitioners implement evidence-based interventions.

The conference will provide attendees with an excellent opportunity to learn and network in one of the nation’s most exciting cities.

Those in higher education want information about the latest research in this field, as well as methods and statistics used in that research — this is the place.

Practitioners will find in-depth sessions on how to teach students with learning disabilities how to read, write, and compute.

Administrators interested in policy or how to implement RTI in their schools and districts will be able to see the latest developments.

For more information visit  

  • Location: Austin Convention Center
  • Dates: October 27-28, 2011
  • Hotel: Special rates available at the Hilton Austin

More info visit website at  or email Monica Lambert at or 828-262-7173.

tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021 or email

+ International Dyslexia Association (IDA) Conference Nov 9-12 2011

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On November 9-12, 2011, The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) will hold its 62nd annual conference at the Hilton Chicago.

The International Dyslexia Association promotes literacy through research, education and advocacy.  The purpose of the organization is to provide the most comprehensive range of information and services that address the full scope of dyslexia and related difficulties in learning to read and write.

The aim is to do so in a way that “creates hope, possibility and partnership.  The goal is that every individual has the opportunity to lead a productive and fulfilling life.”

The annual conference attracts thousands of outstanding researchers, clinicians, parents, teachers, psychologists, educational therapists and people with dyslexia.

Sessions By Theme

  • Accommodations
  • Adults with dyslexia
  • Alphabetic principle
  • At-risk students
  • Attention and executve control/ADHD
  • Critical reading skills
  • Definition
  • Developing self-advocacy
  • English language learner
  • Families and informed parenting
  • Federal legislation (IDEA/RTI/NCLB/Reading First)
  • Fluency
  • Handwriting/dysgraphia
  • Identification for school support services
  • Identification/diagnosis/screening/assessment
  • Language disorders
  • Mathematics/dyscalculia
  • Morphology
  • Oral language
  • Phonemic/phonological awareness
  • Psychological and neuropsychological assessments and treatments
  • Research behavior (psychophysics/psycho-educational)
  • Research/neurobiology (anatomical/physiological)
  • Response to intervention/inclusion
  • School administration
  • Social-emotional
  • Speech and language assessments and treatments
  • Spelling
  • Technology
  • Text comprehension
  • The college student and dyslexia
  • The gifted dyslexic student
  • Training the trainers, teachers and professors
  • Vocabulary
  • Written expression

You can register online at http://www.interdys.orgRegistration fees are cheaper for members.

Why be a member? The membership is comprised of people with dyslexia, their families, educators, diagnosticians, physicians and other professionals in the field. 

IDA is a clearinghouse for valuable information and provides information and referral services to thousands of people every year.

tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021  or email

+ IDEA National Survey Project: Take the Survey

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From LDA (Learning Disabilities Association of America), an action alert:

There are almost 7 million children with disabilities who receive special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), from preschool through high school and other programs.

Under the IDEA, parents and schools collaborate together as equal partners to design the educational services the child needs to succeed.

Children with good special education services achieve maximum independence.  Many children receive good special education services that help them become independent.

But there are also anecdotal reports that some children receive weak or inferior services, and their parents do not feel they are treated as equal partners in the process.

The IDEA National Survey Project examines whether the playing field is level for children with disabilities and their parents.  The project looks at whether parents are equal partners in their children’s education.  One explicit purpose of the IDEA is “to ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and parents of such children are protected,” 20 U.S.C. par 1400.  The survey is designed around this premise.

Please visit

The survey is open to people with all disabilities and special needs.

The survey asks whether the rights of parents and students with disabilities are protected throughout the special education process, including IEP meetings and evaluation, eligibility, and other decisions about special education.

There are also questions about parents’ rights in Due Process and Impartial Hearings, and the Complaint Process.  There are questions about inclusion and whether children receive the education they need, or whether they are deprived of important services; IDEA success stories; and children with special needs who are denied IDEA and special education services.  

After the survey is complete, a report will be written containing the results. 

The report will discuss the experiences that parents, students with disabilities, and attorneys, advocates and others have under the IDEA.  The survey form will give you the option to be emailed when the report is ready.

my source: email alert from LDA, the Learning Disabilities Association of America.  Visit

tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021 or email

+ Ohio HB 96 Final Hearing April 13

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The 4th and final hearing of HB 96 is scheduled for this Wednesday, April 13, at the Statehouse in Columbus Ohio. 
 The bill targets the definition and early identification of dyslexia.


All testimony will be heard, including Proponent and Opponent.
Although the committee meeting begins at 5 PM, HB 96 is the 3rd item on the agenda.
 The 1st hearing of HB 157 (ONLY sponsor testimony this week).  Teacher training at the Educational Service Centers by Dyslexia Specialists.
Proponent testimony, tentative date:  May 4th. 
Hope to see you there! 
 Charlotte G. Andrist, Ph.D., NCSP
Ohio Dyslexia Group Representative and  President,  Central Ohio Branch of the International Dyslexia Association

Primary:  614.767.0438 ; Mobile:  614.288.8784; Email:

tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards  614-579-6021  or email

+ Central Ohio: Your Testimony is Needed Wednesday MAR 2

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A hearing on HB 96, about the need for early identification of dyslexia in our schools, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 2 at 5:00 pm. 

We need you to help show the members of the Education Committee (and our opponents) that we are a formidable force.  And we have truth on our side.

We are asking YOU to share your story about why early detection of dyslexia is critical; why waiting for a child to FAIL is ultimately more costly both in financial and in human terms.

It is dismaying to discover that opposition to this bill comes from those in charge of our schools.

  • COMMITTEE: House Education
  • CHAIRMAN: Representative Stebelton (614-466-8100)
  • DATE: Wednesday March 2, 2011
  • TIME: 5:00 pm
  • ROOM: 17

Please contact Charlotte Andrist at, or phone her at 614-767-0438 (cell 614-288-8784) if you want to give oral testimony.

And bring friends!  Buttons and t-shirts available for the first 100 people to show up to support this bill!


  1. Testimony:  Everyone who provides oral or written testimony is required to fill out a Witness Information Form.  Speak to Charlotte Andrist about emailing you the form.  If you can email it back by Tuesday, that is best; or bring it with you on Wednesday.
  2. Oral Testimony:  A range of experts are expected to provide background information about why early identification of dyslexia is critical.  The plan is to follow this expert testimony with LOTS OF PERSONAL STORIES.  Your oral testimony should focus on how you or your child would have benefitted if s/he had been identified early and had received appropriate instruction in school.  Remember, we are trying to help committee members understand what happens when you wait until a child fails before s/he is identified, versus what happens when you PREVENT reading failure through early identification.  Share the pain of what happened to you or your family member; or what was entailed by having to find your own outside help.  Just teel your story.  There is no “formal” time limit to oral testimony, but please try to keep yours to 5-7 minutes.  (Remember: the focus of testimony for HB 96 is on the importance of the early identification  of dyslexia.  We have another dyslexia bill coming up in the next week by Rep. Schuring, which focuses on appropriate instruction and teacher training.

The Central Ohio Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (COBIDA) and the Ohio Dyslexia Group are responsible for getting the word out and seeing that these bills are passed.  Contact: Charlotte Andrist, President COBIDA; 2948 Scioto Place, Columbus OH 43221.  Phone 614-767-0438, or cell 614-288-8784.  Email

tutoring in Columbus OH:  614-579-6021  or email