My thoughts: I am interested to know what kind of services, if any, Ana receives from her public school. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its Massachusetts equivalent seems like it should apply in this case. I am a special education lawyer and help children like Ana and her parents advocate for their legal right to free and appropriate education. While a DSM addition would certainly help children like Ana receive appropriate accommodations, it is not legally necessary.
This question was originally posted on www.avvo.com.I have edited the original question.
My son was constantly getting suspended ... I told the principal I was going to be asking about if this was legal he told me that my son threatened a substitute... I know my son is no angel but they bring it on by segregating these kids that are in a special needs class.They are not allowed with other students in pe. My son also has an IEP and add / adhd /odd.
Your question raises three interrelated issues:
(1) The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that children should be educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE) that meets the child's needs.This means you have the right to ask that your child spend as much time as possible with his typically developing peers as long as your child receives an educational benefit.For example, your child may be able to attend music class, field trips and recess with students in general education, perhaps with the help of a one-on-one aid.
(2) You should also make sure that your son has goals related to social skills in his IEP.Perhaps the school could include him in a "Friendship Group," facilitated by the school counselor.
(3) Your child should also be given a functional behavioral assessment.Based on this assessment the school should put a behavior intervention plan in place to help prevent and respond to your child's inappropriate conduct.
The Maine Department of Education ("DOE") is proposing changes to their special education guidelines.The Maine DOE claims they are troubled by the variation in special education identification and explain that Maine currently provides more special education protections than required by federal law.Officials admit that these changes are motivated, at least in part, by budgetary concerns.Their proposed solution is to streamline special education identification procedures and to eliminate any protections not required by federal law.But will this "streamlining" result in non-identification of children who should benefit from the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)? One thing is certain: these new guidelines will provide Maine children in special education will have less legal protection.For example, in Maine, as in Massachusetts, transition planning begins when the child is 14, two years earlier than federal law requires.But now, the Maine DOE would like to begin transition planning at 16.And Maine doesn't seem to be the only government cutting back on special education protections.I recently came across a similar report about a school district in New Hampshire making changes similar to Maine.Will we see this trend in Massachusetts?Stay tuned.
When parents request a necessary, but expensive program or service for a child the school district often claim that they don't have the funding. This response has become even more prevalent during the current economic recession. Not only is this excuse impermissible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), it may not be true.A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that school districts have been "redirecting" millions of dollars meant for special education students.What's more, President Obama has increased IDEA funding by $11.3 billion for the next year.The bottom line: if your child has a disability covered by IDEA your child is entitled to a Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE).Cost should never be a factor.