AD17E-1001069

ESSEX COUNTY - SPECIAL EDUCATION

Request for and representation at IEP meeting to advocate for out-of-district placement

IM is an 8-yr-old 3rd-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. DCPP is IM’s legal guardian, but a social worker (AD) has been appointed by a judge as his limited guardian for education purposes. IM was removed from the home of his mother, who struggles with mental illness and substance abuse, in 2015; his father is incarcerated. AD identified IM as needing a special education evaluation in June 2016 but only in March 2017 was he finally determined eligible (based on the category of emotionally disturbed) and placed in his current behavioral disabilities class. When DCPP moved IM to his current therapeutic foster home in April 2017, the agency determined that he should remain in his new school in order to maintain educational stability. AD believes that IM’s current educational program cannot meet his needs. IM has been suspended and sent home repeatedly from his current school due to emotional outbursts and inappropriate behaviors. He has also had several partial hospitalizations. At a meeting in September, IM’s social worker from Youth Consultation Services (YCS) advocated for a therapeutic out-of-district program, and in October AD sent a written request for the same to the district’s special education director. The district improperly asked that YCS provide IM with a 1:1 aide and change his medication, and has not responded to the written request (which it was required to do within 20 days). School staff has reportedly said that the district does not have the money to provide additional services for IM. AD is seeking an attorney to advocate for an appropriate IEP and out-of-district placement for IM.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org

UNDER REVIEW