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The GAP Attorneys Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘speech and language disorder’

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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Student may use Section 504 to sue for money damages for her misidentification as disabled.

Monday, July 30th, 2012

A.G. v. Lower Merion School District, 58 IDELR 41 (E.D. Pa. 2011):  A U.S. District Court allowed a former student to sue her previous school district for misidentifying her as a student with a disability.

The school district had classified the student as having a specific learning disability and speech and language disorder when she was in elementary school.  As part of a subsequent re-evaluation, the district determined the student no longer qualified as having a specific learning disability, but was still a student with a disability with an other health impairment (namely, organizational and attention issues).  Following the student’s graduation, she brought suit under Section 504 alleging discrimination by regarding her as disabled.  Specifically, she claimed that the school district incorrectly identified her as disabled and improperly placed her in a special education program.  The student sought money damages for the psychological impact of her misidentification, as well as her economic loss for placement in special education.

The school district moved to dismiss, but the Court allowed the case to proceed noting that the student should have the opportunity to discover facts regarding her claim for compensatory damages.

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