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

Posts Tagged ‘parent counseling and training’

School provided FAPE, despite no FBA or parent counseling

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

M.W. v. New York City Department of Education, 61 IDELR 151 (2d Cir. 2013): A federal Court of Appeals upheld the New York State Review Officer’s (SRO) determination that a school district provided a student with autism, ADHD, speech and language disorders, and fine and gross motor deficits, a free appropriate public education (FAPE).  The parent contended that the district’s failure to conduct a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and the IEP’s failure to provide parent counseling and training denied the student a FAPE.

The Court agreed with the SRO that an FBA was not necessary, as the student’s IEP adequately identified his behavioral impediments along with strategies to address those behaviors.  Accordingly, since the IEP adequately addressed the student’s problem behaviors there was no harm in failing to conduct an FBA.  Similarly, the resources available within the student’s proposed school were sufficient to address any deficiency by failing to provide parent counseling and training.  The Court noted that a failure to provide parent counseling and training, in and of itself, is not sufficient to result in a FAPE denial.  Therefore, the school offered the student FAPE.

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School district developed an appropriate BIP, despite its failure to conduct an FBA.

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

C.F. v. New York City Department of Education, 57 IDELR 255 (S.D.N.Y. 2011):  A U.S. District Court agreed with the State Review Officer (SRO) in holding that a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) can be properly developed despite a school district’s failure to conduct a functional behavioral assessment (FBA).  The SRO overturned the impartial hearing officer’s (IHO) determination that such failure to conduct an FBA denied the student a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

The student, who was identified as autistic, had previously attended a private school, and was preparing to begin kindergarten.  His parents requested an evaluation by the Committee on Special Education (CSE), which recommended a 6:1:1 classroom and developed a BIP.  The BIP was based exclusively on the reports from the student’s private school teachers and the district did not conduct a formal FBA.  Nevertheless, the Court affirmed the SRO’s decision that the CSE need not conduct an FBA in this case.  The teacher reports were thorough, and although the BIP was admittedly vague, it would be further developed and properly implemented by the proposed classroom teacher.

Separately, the Court also affirmed the SRO’s reasoning that parent training and counseling need not be explicitly included on a student’s IEP.  Here, the IEP failed to identify parent counseling and training as a related service.  However, since the student was being placed in a “specialized school”, and such setting included access to various services provided by a parent coordinator to the parents of students who attend the specialized school, the IEP need not specifically identify parent counseling and training.  Accordingly, since the IEP and BIP offered a FAPE, the Court denied the parents’ request for reimbursement for their unilateral placement.

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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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