I hope all is well with you, I don't know if you remember me, I'm Dania the friend that helped with my friend's son a few years ago. I'm helping a friend adopt a special needs child that is her nephew and thought of you. Anyways we went to court today and was a little disconcerted by her lawyer, I thought of you and wished he'd be like you and told my friend that I knew the best lawyer anyone could ever meet. I really wish you would do all cases in all areas. I have been helping friends through the years and you know, I've never ever seen another lawyer as sweet and compassionate as you. I just wanted you to know I always think of you and wish all lawyers were just like you. I just wanted to write to you and tell you what a blessing it had been to have met you. I hope this cruel and crazy world we live in doesn't affect that beautiful heart of yours. Keep shining that beautiful light of yours in the name of HOPE and may all those that seek it be blessed by it. God bless you Hope, I will never forget you. Have a blessed day!
All things have worked out with our son. Can you please thank Lori for her advice and her kind voice on the other end of the line. Her honest yet sensitive conversation with us helped calm raw nerves and reassure us that there were options. Please thank her from the bottom of our hearts.
I will be passing her name to a friend of mine who has a special needs son and has been battling the school with no resolution. My friend will be in great hands.
Hope, thank you!!! You are a great attorney and lady! I'm going to miss you. You helped tremendously and we are greatly thankful to have had you.
I want to thank you very much for helping to have our son moved to a new school. All is great. You have no idea the impact that what you do is doing for these kids. I truly believe that you were destined to be an attorney for children. You care about kids that aren't even yours. (ok, I'm getting sappy eyed) Thank You Lori.
Thank you so much for all your help and for being so wonderful to work with! I was so overwhelmed that you not only fixed the situation but also got the school district to do evals. We are so grateful.
I just wanted to thank you for the wealth of information that you gave my mother and I. I cannot express enough how much I appreciate your help and your knowledge. Meeting with you has given me another reason to push and keep pushing. Not just for my children but the ones that these changes can benefit! I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I wanted to check in with you and follow up about our son. Your advice and guidance from February was so reassuring and valuable. Yesterday we confidently attended the meeting to review all of the testing the school did for our son. As a result we have discovered that as he's aged he now qualifies for many more services. Mixed emotions about that but we are happy he will be getting more help. Per your recommendation we had the school conduct several of the tests you recommended. Thanks you very much for all your advice.
Happy New Year!! I hope that 2016 is off to a great start for you. I just wanted to thank you again for all you did to help us get our son into the right spot with school. He is doing amazing. I attached his report card from school showing STRAIGHT A's for the first half of the year!! Even with his Advanced Math and Advanced Language Arts!! He's doing amazing... and his IEP was brought down to just focus on his writing skills. He's flourishing in the new environment and you had a great deal to do with making that happen. Please thank the school attorney who you arranged to help us as well. We are SO grateful!
All the best to you,
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I am amazed at how you were so quick to help me! I was very impressed with your resonse in helping me to resolve the situation at my son's school! I was bragging about you to my husband & friends. It meant so much to me knowing you were on my side!
Thank you so much, Hope! Your time and information today was extremely helpful, and you absolutely live up to your name. You gave us something we've been missing for a while: hope! :-)
We would like to let you know how grateful we are for your law firm. Hope you represented my grandson who is a special needs child. Because of you he is doing great. We cannot tell you how thankful we are. Thank you so much!
Mary & Lloyd
Hi Lori & Hope,
I still remember the day Eric and I came in so lost and worried and had no idea how to keep our son safe and I believe Hope was in court that day, so Lori met us. We found the Super Sister Team (my nickname for you) because we read how you had already won against Deer Valley! Lori listened to us as we told our story and she got so upset and she showed us she is a force to be reckoned with and then she told us about her sister who was really going to be mad about this! I knew that minute we had found not one, but two angels. Up until now, no one cared what happened to him. You two did.
Hope has worked so hard on this case. You both made an amazing impact in all of our lives, especially our son's. We will forever be grateful. So this is not the end, there will be more laws to protect the children of Arizona against restraint and seclusion.
I would like to recommend Lori Kirsch-Goodwin and her firm Kirsch-Goodwin and Kirsch, PLLC. We always have to be the primary and most vocal advocate for our children. In my case, I found Lori to be every bit as dedicated and ferocious of an advocate for my daughter as I could ever ask for. My daughter was diagnosed with Autism a few months after her 3rd birthday. Since our insurance plan covers benefits for autism, I enrolled my daughter in Speech, Occupational, and ABA therapy programs. This is where things began to get ugly.
The insurance company declined to pay for ABA therapy by deeming it as 'educational in nature'. This is after I was told verbally that all autism services would be covered. I appealed citing the fact that Steven's law requires this expense to be covered by insurance plans. This is when things got even uglier. I was told by our corporate benefits people that my company is self-funded and therefore the plan falls under the ERISA laws and is exempt from any state laws and that "I should feel lucky that they were paying for speech and occupational therapy". I reminded them that our plan covers autism, so they are contractually obligated to cover treatment for the condition. My employer turned its back on me and sided with the insurance company.
At this point, I retained Lori and her firm for the final appeal hoping that they would decide to cover treatment. They did not. Lori agreed to take the case to court. After months of waiting and hard work on Lori's part, she found fairly clear evidence in both my file and the plan documentation that the denial of coverage was not just. Immediately prior to the pre-trial settlement conference that is required in ERISA court, Lori negotiated an out of court settlement with the insurance company law team. I am very happy to tell you that we have come to an amicable agreement and that my daughter is now receiving therapy. In just 3 short months, this therapy has made a world of difference in her life and ours.
Lori is more than an attorney to me - she is my daughter's salvation. Without her involvement and dedication to what is fair and just, my daughter would not be making the incredible progress that she is. Each and every day, the autistic behaviors are reduced and communication and social skills are on the rise. If you have a special needs child that is being treated unfairly, you would have a difficult time finding a better team of people to go to bat for her than Lori and the rest of the staff at her firm.
Cave Creek, AZ
January 18, 2013
The law firm of Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch made the difference in our son's case. His special needs had fallen on seemingly deaf ears for seven months until we met with Lori. Her professionalism, genuine caring, and legal acumen brought our case to quick resolution while preempting the need for a judicial hearing and the related expenditure of money, time, and emotion. The introduction of Lori into our son's legal struggle brought relief within weeks and greatly improved our son's quality of life!
-- PFCJ (Father)
All went FANTASTIC at our son's new school and the bus came right on time! Our son continues to LOVE the school and can't wait to go back the next day. He said he now understands most things they are talking. We feel we were blessed by you and all your hard work (and follow up) for our son. Words cannot express our gratitude enough. Now we feel that there is hope for his future.
Blessings came to our family from your work ... THANK YOU!
Todd & Cassie
June 19, 2012
It is with great pleasure that I recommend Lori Kirsch-Goodwin and the Law Firm of Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch to any person who is fighting for what's best for a child with special needs.
For the first 8 years of my daughter's life, I spent countless hours in research and frustration. Something was not right and nobody was listening. I would not give up! There had to be an answer somewhere.
Then, 2 years ago, we finally got our answer. She was diagnosed as having Asperger's Syndrome, as well as other items relating to being on the Autism Spectrum. It felt as though a weight had been lifted and I was no longer alone in my struggle to help my little girl. We enrolled in a new school with a smaller setting and scheduled our lives around her new therapies. Finally, she was going to get the help she needed.
Then came her 4th grade year and our whole Autistic world was turned upside down, if that's even possible!
In October, the school changed her primary teacher without warning and the new teacher was less than educated and experienced in the world of kids on the Spectrum. We went into crisis and feverishly worked on the MET/IEP to get her qualified for services under the category of OHI. I was reassured that this was just to be able to move as quickly as possible and later we would review the data for a more accurate determination. Which, I understood to be Autism, since that was her diagnosis. I was new to the whole IEP/MET business and went to work (again) researching more about what my role was, as a parent of a special needs child. I also relied heavily on the school's SpEd staff for their knowledge and expertise. After all, this IS what they do for a living so who better to take guidance from?
WRONG?! What I found out in the last 5 months of school was more disappointing and enlightening that I could ever imagine.
When I realized the school was not going to be able to provide the necessary resources for my daughter, I began to move forward on placing her in a private school by utilizing a scholarship offered by the state. Now was the time to reconvene the MET/IEP teams to reconsider the OHI for her true determination of Autism. While the school appeared to really be trying to do what was right for my daughter, IEP/MET goals and services for an Autism Spectrum child, I was met with resistance.
It began with I'm sorry. I just don't see anything in her evaluations to support an Autism determination. I was speechless. I hired an advocate and scheduled a MET/IEP meeting. While they understood why I felt her OHI determination should be changed and agreed she needed services, they just didn't have enough data to back up the change to Autism. A request for further testing and 3 days later, we met again to complete the review. This time it was clear they were no longer interested in what was best for my daughter, but what was best for the school. Without addressing the Autism qualifications, they focused on ED. I found myself, yet one more time, not being heard. My beautiful, intelligent, athletic, quirky (and also happens to be a child on the Autism Spectrum) was being offered as a sacrifice to save the school. This 10 year old child's chance at a successful future was at stake. Once again, I would not give up!
I was referred to Lori Kirsch-Goodwin of Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC by my advocate. Instantly, I knew this was someone I could believe in and trust to have my daughter's best interest at heart. She well understood the struggle, frustration and misguidance that parents of special needs kids are handed. She had a child on the Spectrum.
Lori was unbelievably supportive and listened to all of what the advocate and I had to say. She was honest and frank with me about the options and what each of those may cost. Her experience and knowledge of each and every right afforded to my child by both the State and Federal Government was overwhelming. Finally, somebody had all the answers AND she was willing to fight for me! THIS was all very good news, because I was exhausted from fighting the school. Being your child's advocate, as well as everything else one must do to be a good parent, can be an overwhelming amount of responsibility.
Within about a week of hiring Lori and filing a complaint for Due Process, the school settled. My something's not right instinct wasn't my imagination or my lack of education and experience, it was the truth. The school was only concerned with their own needs and protection rather than my child's. My daughter was awarded the Primary Determination of Disability for Autism and will be attending one of the best schools for kids with Asperger's this school year. Wow!
I thank God each day for people like my advocate, the staff at Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, all of my daughter's therapists and private schools for special needs children. There are 2 things that I am reminded of when I look back over this journey:
1- Nobody will fight for a child, the way a parent does. WE are their best advocate.
2- It takes a village to raise a child, especially if that child has special needs. I could not give my daughter the chance at a better way of life without the help of people who care, like those I mentioned above.
Lori would be an asset to any person who has questions about the inner-workings of the special needs world, and I am happy to give her my wholehearted endorsement.
A parent who has Been there, done that and got the determination to prove it!
I have had the pleasure of working collaboratively with Hope and Lori as members of educational teams. I have found them to be professional, knowledgeable and up to date on legal issues surrounding Special Education law. It is with confidence that I refer their services to clients who require educational legal services delivered with the utmost professionalism.
Ricki Light - Educational Advocate and Strategist
You are an AMAZING attorney for these kiddos and people need to know that have someone like you out there!!!
Hope and Lori are two of the kindest most caring people you will ever meet in the world. They were willing to fight for my son when the school refused to give him the proper education he needed. When the day came that we had to go to court, I knew that I not only had an attorney (Hope) at my side, but a friend who truly cared about what happened to my little boy. My son now attends a private school where he has made wonderful progress. I can truly say that I not only acquired an attorney but a friend. Thank you Miss Hope!
This was my first experience with a lawyer and I could not be happier with the entire process. The level of support I received from Lori was amazing and allowed me to relax during this whole process knowing she had everything under control. She was straightforward and honest with me and when I spoke with her, I felt like I was talking to a caring friend who truly had my children's best interest at heart. Her ability to deal with the school district and knowledge of the laws regarding special needs children has caused our school district to rework their entire program. Not only have my children benefited but so have all the special needs children in our district. I am so thankful to know our kids have someone like Lori and Hope on their side.
I feel most fortunate and privileged to have worked with your firm for the past four years and I am honored to bear witness to my experience.
Your counsel & guidance on critical business issues has help expedite positive resolution on many matters and avoid costly litigation in the process. Furthermore your attention to detail and prompt responsiveness to our every crisis is a level of service so uncommon in today's professional environment.
I am proud to recommend Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch to anyone seeking legal direction or representation.
Dear Hope & Lori,
I would like to testify that these two women are the most compassionate, caring & professional attorney's I have ever had the pleasure to deal with! They not only do a successful job in the legal aspects of your case, but also personally care about the "people" involved!
It is hard to find a compassionate & professional attorney these days that does such an excellent job in addition to being a "human being" with feelings towards the clients.
My son & I were very fortunate to have Hope & Lori as our attorneys during a very difficult time & situation in his life. They are exceptional! I would recommend them to all my friends needing an attorney. They did an awesome job with our case and became friends as well!
Thank you ladies!
Connie & son
Heart and compassion are not typically associated with the practice of law, but Hope took on the educational bureaucracy and championed our son's cause with just the right dose of both compassion and ability.
When we met Hope & Lori we were thrilled to have found not only a firm with exceptional legal skills, but one that also truly cares about their clients. They championed our son's cause against an educational bureaucracy with dedication and compassion.