Special Education/Removed from class


My son has a diagnosis of autism but is in a general education class full time, with support from special ed staff as needed.  There was some sort of incident in one class where he was doing something to reset the computer. The teacher called me and said that she saw his IEP said that he should be seated near a teacher when using technology, but "that wasn't the way the class was set up," and if he continued to have problems on the computer, he'd probably lose that class. (It's an elective, concepts of engineering.) My son came home yesterday and told me the principal told him to go to,the office during that period because they were going to find a different elective for him. Can they do do this? Don't they first have to follow the accommodations to see if he can be successful? Should we request an aide for the class period? Last year, he lost technology multiple times, and frequently spent time either in the principal's office or the special education room. Looking back, I'm thinking we should have done something different. This didn't change his behavior at all. Next year, he will be in high school, and all students are issued a MacBook instead of textbooks. Someone needs to figure out why he's doing what he's doing and try to change it; not just punish him. Please help.

Dear Lyn,

I am so sorry for my delay in responding; I forgot to put my vacation settings on. I have several clients with children with Autism who are very adept at technology and use it sometimes to 'hack' or visit sites that are not allowed. The accommodation must be followed and I would caution that in the next meeting, the team may try to remove that accommodation, because it is difficult to implement. Your child should have the same equal opportunity as students without disabilities. I would definitely request added staff and get support for any complaint that you may need to file with the State or Office of Civil Rights.

I would develop a behavior intervention plan for successful use of the computer. In high school, this will mean that he must access his education using technology available to all students. In order to develop a behavior plan, a functional behavior assessment may be needed. What are the interfering behaviors? Why are they occurring? What can be done to teach replacement behaviors? Data collection and ongoing analysis are part of the FBA and BIP.

I think that is a key to finding out what he's doing, why he's doing it, and try to change it, as you say :)

My book, School Success for Kids with Emotional Behavioral Disorders (Prufrock Press, Amazon) is all about the BIP. Here is another resource for FBA and BIP.

I hope this helps you advocate for your exceptional child's education! I wish you all the best, let me know how things are going.

Thank you for writing to me and using this service!

Special Education

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Michelle R. Davis, M. Ed.


I can answer questions about disability definitions and criteria for services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, No Child Left Behind, 504 plans, how to craft an IEP that drives the appropriate services, school placement, dispute options, and least restrictive environment. I worked in the public school system as a special educator and am now in private consulting practice where we assist parents as they navigate the special education process. I have expertise in all educational disabilities except blind/visual impairments and deaf/hard of hearing. This includes ADHD and other health impairments, medical conditions, dyslexia and learning disabilities, Autism, emotional disabilities, language processing problems, and interfering behaviors.


10 years as special educator and administrator in public school system; Director of ABCs for Life Success since 1998; Expert services such as analysis and testimony; Author: Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book: What you can do now to advocate for your exceptional child's education; Special Needs Advocacy Training Institute; internet radio show Teach Your Children Well: Hot Topics in Education; author School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders released March 2010 (Prufrock Press).

Masters in Special Education with Emphasis on Inclusive Education (Johns Hopkins University); B.S.in Special Education (James Madison University); Conduct training for Universities, public and private schools, parent groups. Adjunct professor current George Washington University and prior George Mason University.

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