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Special Education/Question about services


I am on the east coast (I believe you are west coast :-)
I withdrew my son from school. I am not suing for lack of resources but I know I've a strong case. My son and I have been through so much emotionally, I don't have much strength left to fight. Here's where it gets bizarre. One would think they would be thrilled to not have to deal with this anymore. I asked to continue my son's services as is the law. They want to use entirely new providers not because those providers are more or especially qualified but because these providers are at a school my son isn't even attending but they wanted to switch him to. His previous providers have a good relationship with him and tremendous knowledge and frankly the utility in that continuity given his challenges cannot be overstated, to the point where I couldn't start from scratch unless a previous provider was genuinely unavailable, it wouldn't make sense. Anyway, their position is that the schedules have already been set. I responded that a child can begin school at any time necessitating integrating new kids into a schedule, I don't find their excuse persuasive. They basically said they didn't think he would be leaving school so they set up a schedule for him already and his previous providers already have a schedule. But as I said, if a new kid came into the school district, they're obviously going to use the providers in that school so it's not convincing. It's more of a "won't" than a "can't" and I cannot stress how much my son's challenges necessitate continuity and when something isn't broke...we spent a long time working with these providers, he's been with them for 4 years already. I can't replicate that and would only be on board with new people if I chose them or if they brought something specific to the table but they don't.  Anything I can do? Thanks!

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I'm sorry to learn about what you and your son have been put through. The law is not on your side in what you have described.

The law says that your son must attend school. Home schooling or private school placement are legal alternatives. If you home school him, you should consider enrolling him in one of the Home School Magnet schools so that he receives the education materials he needs and a curriculum to follow. They pay for books and some online teaching, typically. But the law says they have to provide him special education services.

If you don't enroll him in such a program, then you have to teach him. You are allowed the ask the district he resides in to provide special education services, but it gives them the option of how, when, and where to provide them. You have to transport him at your cost. In other words you are stuck. I know this isn't fair, but the law is what it is. They are obviously trying to lure him back to their school.

I recommend you contact the providers he has had in the past to see what home-school charter schools they are contracted with. Then contact these school and select one to enroll him in. Once you make this enrollment, he is not longer enrolled in his old district. But you are taking on the responsibility of educating him.

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Tim Runner


Questions concerning special education: IEP, assessments, Due Process, mediation, resolution conference, federal law, state law, qualifying for services, residential treatment, special day classes, resource specialists, procedures, having your child assessed, adaptive PE, speech & language, non-public school, FAPE, and tuition reimbursement.


I have been an education advocate representing students and parents for six years. My experience includes: representing my clients in IEPs, SSTs, Due Process, review assessment results for my clients, and mediations. I have represented clients with learning disabilities, autism, Downs Syndrome, cognitively challenged, emotional problems, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and physical disabilities. I have also represented clients to County Mental Health Departments and Regional Centers. My clients range from pre-school to college students in many states.

I have a degree in Mathematics from the University of California with minors in Psychology and Physics. I also studied applied statistics in psychology at the graduate level. I have taught college classes, conducted seminars, written articles for various publications, and testified as an expert witness.

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