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Problem with IEP prompted rulings for special needs student

The mother of a child suffering from autism, ADHD and an intellectual disability finally was provided favorable decisions by her state's department of education.  The department ruled on Dec. 18 that the school district in question failed to provide an appropriate education for her child for the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years.

The mother had earlier asked the school district to reevaluate her child.  Evaluations are required by law to make determinations as to whether a child has special needs.  If such a determination is made, the next step is to decide what sort of educational services would be required.  Though a Sep. 2012 ruling indicated that certain areas of evaluation should be performed, the district apparently failed to follow through concerning these requirements.

"I wasn't asking for the world, I was asking them to try," the mother was quoted as saying. "I just want what's best for my kid to the best of their ability." The mother also noted her frustration that money spent by the school district in defending the case could have better been spent on services for the children.

The attorney for the mother noted that occasional problems with the Individualized Education Plan are not unusual. However, there should be some attempt at these IEP meetings to address evaluations and possibly make changes to the IEP itself.

Though this matter did not involve a California school district, it does demonstrate the difficulties that parents must face when attempting to educate a child with special needs. It needs to be kept in mind that the ruling concerning the above school district is not the end of the matter. The school district could still possibly appeal the ruling.

Source: The Oregonian, "Special needs student's mom speaks out about fight for services, ruling against Forest Grave school," Laura Frazier, Jan. 17, 2014

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