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Posts Tagged ‘Functional behavioral assessment (FBA)’

FBA and BIP not necessary where student’s behavior was stereotypic of autism and placement included supports and services to address student’s behavioral needs

Monday, August 27th, 2012

In re: Student with a Disability, 58 IDELR 209 (SEA NY 2012): The New York State Review Officer (SRO) overturned the decision of an impartial hearing officer (IHO) which awarded private school tuition reimbursement to the parents of a student with autism.  The SRO determined that, despite the fact that the student engaged in behaviors that seriously interfered with his learning, the school district did not deny the student a FAPE by failing to conduct a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and develop a behavior intervention plan (BIP).  The SRO noted that the state regulations define an FBA as “the process of determining why a student engages in behaviors that impede learning and how the student’s behavior relates to the environment . . .”  8 NYCRR 200.1(r).  The SRO accepted the school district’s argument that an FBA was not needed for the student since the student’s stereotypic behaviors were consistent with autism, and therefore the school district did not need to determine why the student was engaging in the behaviors.  A BIP was not needed because the recommended placement included supports and services to address the student’s behavioral needs.

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Student’s progress at alternative high school negates need for residential placement

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

S.H. v. Eastchester Union Free School District, 58 IDELR 46 (S.D.N.Y. 2011): The parents of a student diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Learning Disorder, Impulse Control Disorder, and Depressive Disorder were denied reimbursement for their child’s unilateral placement at a private residential school.  The Court concluded that school district’s recommended placement at an alternative high school was appropriate since it was substantially similar to the program the student received the year prior (where he made progress).  The fact that the school district’s proposed placement lacked staff specifically trained in Reactive Attachment Disorder did not deny the student a FAPE.  Rather, the proper inquiry is whether the staff is able to implement the IEP, and the Court found that the staff was so able.  In addition, neither the school district’s failure to include staff from the residential school at the IEP meeting, nor the school district’s failure to provide the student with a functional behavioral assessment (FBA), resulted in a denial of FAPE.

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School district’s failure to conduct FBA did not make BIP inappropriate

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

C.F. v. New York City Department of Education, 57 IDELR 255 (S.D.N.Y. 2011): The Court concluded that although New York regulations require a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) be conducted in order to determine why a student displays behaviors that interfere with his learning or that of others, the school district’s development of a behavior intervention plan (BIP) without conducting an FBA did not deprive an autistic student a FAPE.  The Court reasoned that the BIP was based on current observations from his teachers and up-to-date records of his recommended placement.  Moreover, although the Court concluded that the school district failed to specify parent counseling and training in the student’s IEP (a service required to be offered to students classified as autistic under New York state regulations), such a procedural defect did not amount to a denial of FAPE.  Having determined that the school district’s proposed placement offered the student a FAPE, the parent’s claim for private school tuition reimbursement was rejected.

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Failure to include BIP and plan to transition student back to public school in the IEP were procedural errors, which did not deprive student of a FAPE

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Park Hill School District v. Dass, 57 IDELR 121 (8th Cir. 2011): The court determined that the school district did not deny a student with autism a FAPE, where a behavior intervention plan (BIP) and a plan to transition the student back to the public school setting were not incorporated into the student’s IEP.  The court reasoned that the failure to include such provisions in the student’s IEP was, at most, a procedural violation of the law.  If the transition services and BIP actually provided to the student were inadequate, this would be a substantive violation.  In this case, however, the parents refused to give the school district an opportunity to provide the student with services when they removed the student from the school district and placed him in a private school.  The school district presented testimony at the due process hearing that had the student attended the recommended placement, it would have used teaching methods and strategies that worked with other students with autism in the school district, and if these strategies proved unsuccessful for the student, the school district would have conducted an FBA.

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Failure to conduct FBA did not deny FAPE where BIP was otherwise appropriate

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

A.L. v. New York City Department of Education, 57 IDELR 69 (S.D.N.Y. 2011): The Court affirmed the decision of the State Review Officer (SRO) who determined that the school district’s LEA’s failure to conduct a functional behavioral assessment (FBA), on a student with autism whose behavior interfered with learning, did not deny student FAPE.  The Court reasoned that the behavior intervention plan (BIP) developed was otherwise appropriate.  Although the school district did not conduct a formal FBA, it developed a BIP based on a variety of assessments and reports and with substantial input from the student’s service providers.  The BIP adequately addressed the student’s needs.

Moreover, the court determined that the school district did not impede the parents’ participation in the decision making process regarding the student’s placement, even though the parents did not participate in the decision regarding the placement’s actual physical location.  While the parents had a right to participate in meetings to determine the “identification, evaluation and educational placement” of their child, this includes the general type of educational placement, not the “brick and mortar” school location.

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