You are here:

Special Education/Physical disability and the law


My son suffers from a physical disability that causes chronic pain. It's been a nightmare for us and him. So far our district has been understanding.
I have two concerns
If he complains about pain he leaves the class. I don't know if it's always necessary. My son sometimes is whiny understAndably.
Second how much school can he miss. We have had to keep him home on bad days. So far no tutor offered.
No reprimand. He's making grades but it's hard.  I don't know what the law is or how to navigate this. I feel helpless with my son. We're doing all we can for pain management.


I'm sorry that your son lives with pain. Does your son have an IEP or a 504 Plan? If not he should have one or the other. The school is making accommodations to meet his unique needs but these need to be documented in an IEP or 504 Plan.

Leaving class: It is very difficult to say whether he really needs to leave class, or if he is using this to get out of work. The teacher may see something such as him having to leave when there is a test or subject matter he does not want to do. There is no solution to this one. It is better to error on him leaving when he doesn't need to versus not being allowed to leave when he does need to go. Where does he go? Is he expected to do school work while out of class?

If he has a medical diagnosis on file from his doctor stating what he is supposed to do when he is in pain, then the school should follow it. There should probably be a Medical Plan in place so everyone dealing with him knows the situation and actions to be taken when needed.

If his attendance is too bad, he may need to be put on home/hospital teaching where a teacher comes to your home once or twice per week to teach, and your son is expected to do homework assigned during these visits. A medical doctor has to prescribe this service and it should only be used as a last resort. He misses out on interacting with other students which is part of one's education. The district is not responsible for providing tutoring services for you son. The law allows them to do so, but it does not require this. Given that his grades are OK, they are not likely to want to pay for this.

Special Education

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2017 All rights reserved.