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Meeting the needs of people with disabilities, their families, educators & service providers

Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

Manifestation review required for child presumed to be disabled due to pattern of behavior

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Anaheim Union High School District v. J.E., 61 IDELR 107 (C.D. Cal. 2013): A federal district court determined that a school district should have conducted a manifestation determination review for a student not classified under the IDEA.  The district had suspended the student and removed him to a community day school following a disciplinary incident.

The student had ADHD and anxiety, and manifested several behavioral issues in school (including irritability, agitation, and panic attacks).  The school was aware of these issues, and identified the student as a student with a disability pursuant to Section 504 (but not IDEA).  Nevertheless, the Court found that the school should have conducted a manifestation determination review.  The child was presumed to be disabled under the IDEA (and entitled to its protections) because the school had a basis of knowledge to believe the student’s pattern of behavior related to his disability.  Significantly, the court determined that a “pattern of behavior” giving rise to a presumption of disability should not be limited to previous disciplinary issues.

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Student’s progress and expanded IEP demonstrate appropriateness, denying parent reimbursement for unilateral private placement

Monday, June 10th, 2013

McCallion v. Mamaroneck Union Free School District, 60 IDELR 162 (S.D.N.Y. 2013):  A federal district court denied a parent’s request for tuition reimbursement where the student demonstrated progress under his prior IEPs, and the school district worked with the parents to respond to their concerns regarding his program.  Concerned about his ability to make progress in high school based on the programming the school district offered, the parents ultimately enrolled the student (diagnosed with a specific learning disability, as well as ADHD, anxiety and an adjustment disorder) in a private school designed for students with his needs.

Notwithstanding the parents’ unilateral placement, they still participated in an IEP team meeting which resulted in an amended IEP in October of that school year.  Also, the student received passing marks, and progressed from grade to grade prior to the school year in which he was enrolled in the private school.  Since the October IEP incorporated several additional recommendations and accommodations with respect to reading (one of the student’s biggest areas of need), the district offered the student a free appropriate public education and the parents were therefore not entitled to reimbursement.

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Omission of counseling services from student’s IEP was harmless error that did not deny student FAPE

Monday, May 16th, 2011

M.H. v. New York City Department of Education, 56 IDELR 69 (S.D.N.Y. 2011): Agreeing with the decision of the state review officer (SRO), a federal district court from New York determined that the omission of the duration and frequency of counseling services in the Related Services section of the IEP of a student with anxiety and emotional issues did not deny the student a free appropriate education (FAPE).  Such omission was “harmless error” since counseling was discussed elsewhere in the IEP, the frequency and duration of counseling services were in the IEP meeting minutes, and the service was actually provided to the student.

The Court also rejected the parents’ argument that the school district did not timely arrange for the appropriate special education program and services to be provided to the student within 60 days of the receipt of parental consent to evaluate the student, consistent with New York state law.  Although the parents provided the school district with a letter on February 27, 2009 requesting that a FAPE be provided to the student, the school district did not receive the parents’ consent to evaluate until April 3, 2009.  Since a request for services is not the same as a consent to evaluate, the May 29, 2009 IEP meeting was timely.

Moreover, the Court concluded that the school district did not violate the law when it decided to rely on evaluations independently obtained by the parents, instead of conducting its own evaluations.

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Parental placement outside the geographical boundaries of the school district relieves the district of obligation to provide services to the student.

Monday, November 15th, 2010

T.C. v. Klein Independent School District, 54 IDELR 187 (S.D. Tex. 2010):  A U.S. District Court determined that once a student begins attending school outside the geographic boundaries of the school district, that school district is no longer obligated to provide special education and related services.

Under state law, a number of the parent’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations.  However, the parent still argued that the school district had a responsibility to hold its annual IEP team meeting relating to the program for the student (who was diagnosed with ADHD, manifesting itself as severe bipolar disorder, anxiety, and oppositional defiant disorder), even though she was then receiving special education and related services at a program in a different state.  The Court rejected that argument, saying the school district had “no obligation” to hold an IEP team meeting “when her parents moved her to a private school outside the district’s jurisdiction.”  As a result, the student’s parents were denied any relief.

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