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The GAP Attorneys Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)’

Despite parent’s preference for ABA, TEACCH methodology was appropriate to meet autistic student’s needs

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

In re Student with a Disability, 58 IDELR 118 (SEA NY 2011): The New York State Review Officer (SRO) overturned the decision of an impartial hearing officer (IHO) who had awarded private school tuition reimbursement to the parent of an autistic student in part because the IHO determined that the methodology that would have been utilized in the recommended placement – Treatment and Education of Autistic and other Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH) – would not have appropriately met the student’s needs.  The parent had unilaterally placed the student in a private school that utilized Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA).  The SRO noted that although the method that would have been utilized by the school district was not specified in the student’s IEP, such method generally does not have to be specified in an IEP since it is usually a matter to be left to the teacher.  The parent was concerned that the TEACCH approach relied on students having the ability to maintain a level of independence, and the student did not have such ability.  However, the SRO disagreed with the IHO and found support in the record that the TEACCH approach would have appropriately met the student’s needs.

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Home-schooled student not entitled to FAPE and parents are not entitled to reimbursement for cost of home-based ABA program

Monday, May 16th, 2011

In re Student with a Disability, 56 IDELR 59 (SEA NY 2010): The state review officer (SRO) (rejecting the decision by an impartial hearing officer (IHO)) ruled that a home schooled student with autism was considered to be a parentally placed private school student, not entitled to a FAPE.  Therefore, the student was only entitled to equitable services under an Individual Education Services Plan (IESP), and the student’s parents were not entitled to reimbursement for the cost of a home-based Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) program.  The SRO also noted that the parents were not entitled to reimbursement, in part, because they did not put the school district on proper notice, which includes notifying the school district that they intend to seek reimbursement from the school district for the cost of the privately secured services.

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Parents awarded reimbursement for placement of autistic child at private school for children with autism since public school’s IEP and recommended placement were inappropriate

Monday, March 28th, 2011

M.H. and E.K. v. New York City Department of Education, 54 IDELR 221 (S.D.N.Y. 2010):  The district court ruled that the parents of a student with autism were entitled to tuition reimbursement for their unilateral placement of the student at a private school for children with autism.  The Court deferred to the Impartial Hearing Officer’s (IHO’s) conclusion that the program proposed by the public school, which was to utilize different methodologies in addressing the student’s behaviors with an emphasis on TEACCH, was inappropriate.  The IHO concluded that the appropriate methodology for the student was 1:1 discrete trial Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA).  Although the evidence showed that the student required 1:1 educational support, the student would not have such an intense level of support in the school district’s proposed placement.  Moreover, the Court agreed with the IHO’s conclusion that the unilateral placement was the student’s least restrictive environment since the student required the intensive 1:1 ABA program in order to make progress.  The public school’s proposed placement would not have been appropriate for the student since the student was much more advanced than the other student’s in the public school classroom.

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After-school ABA program not essential for autistic student to receive FAPE

Friday, January 21st, 2011

C.G. v. New York City Department of Education, 55 IDELR 157 (S.D.N.Y.  2010):  The parents of a student with autism failed to prove that the school district’s removal of 15 hours of after-school, 1:1, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services denied the student a free appropriate public education (FAPE).  The evidence established that although the student benefited from the ABA program, the program was not essential for the student to make progress under the school district’s IEP.  However, the court also affirmed the decision of the Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO) and State Review Officer (SRO) that the school district was not entitled to reimbursement from the parents for the expense of providing the student with the ABA services during the pendency of the litigation.

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