Special Education



Negotiation with school district to implement services in IEP and add additional services

JD is a 10-year-old 5th-grader who has been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, ODD, anxiety, depression, and a learning disability. JD’s IEP indicates that he should be receiving OT, but he has not been. JD has regressed this school year, and his mother, JMD, believes that he needs additional services in his IEP. She is seeking an attorney who could represent her at an IEP meeting to ensure that the services in JD’s IEP are being implemented and additional services are added to ensure that his needs are being met.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org



Negotiation with district to address HIB, obtain transportation and ESY, and amend IEP

JJ is a 12-year-old 6th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD. Since October 2018, he has been bullied because of his race and his disability by one particular student in the class. JJ’s mother, DH, has reported three incidents to the principal, but nothing has been done. In addition, the district has refused to provide transportation to JJ, despite the fact that DH provided a doctor’s note indicating that JJ’s asthma is exacerbated by having to walk to school in temperatures below 40 and above 80 degrees. The district also refused to provide JJ with ESY, instead recommending that DH send him to an expensive recreation camp. DH is seeking representation to address the bullying issues, obtain transportation and ESY for her son, and amend his IEP as appropriate.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org



Representation in filing for due process to secure IEEs and appropriate placement

NB is a 9-year-old 3rd-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD, bipolar disorder, learning disabilities, PTSD from childhood trauma, severe skin and food allergies, and asthma. In December 2018, she was placed by DCPP with her grandmother, LM. NB’s latest IEP lists no evaluations, assessments, or testing, and includes only her ADHD diagnosis but none of her psychiatric diagnoses. In March, NB began exhibiting mood changes and aggression at school, fighting with peers, and expressing feelings of sadness over prior abuse from her mother. In April, NB reported that she hated herself and wanted to be dead, but LM was told that there were no counselors available that day. Later that day, NB threw furniture and kicked and hit school staff. The school imposed a two-day out-of-school suspension for “failure to follow procedure” and required LM take NB to a psychiatrist. Since then, NB has not returned to school and has been receiving home instruction. At an IEP meeting a few weeks later, LM requested a therapeutic placement, which was recommended by NB’s private psychiatrist, but the district verbally denied the request. LM also made a written request for IEEs; the district has not yet responded. LM is seeking representation in filing for due process to secure IEEs and an appropriate placement for NB.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org




Negotiation with district to obtain IEEs, comp. ed., and possible change of placement

JR is a 14-year-old 8th-grader who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is high functioning, but has frequent behavioral outbursts; the district’s response is to send him to the principal’s office or suspend him. In May, JR ran out of the school and no one noticed. Last year, the district failed to implement his speech-language therapy for months because the therapist retired, and still has not made up those hours, claiming there’s not enough time before he graduates. JR’s grandmother and legal guardian, GS, is seeking independent evaluations, compensatory services, and either an appropriate out-of-district placement or at least implementation of an appropriate IEP.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org




Negotiation with district to obtain OOD placement, comp. ed., and possible damages

JC is a 13-year-old 8th-grader who has been diagnosed with OCD and Tourette’s. He has attended an out-of-district placement since the 5th grade. During the heavy snowstorm on November 15, 2018, JC eloped from the school bus while it was stuck in traffic and was not found until 9:00 PM that night, four miles away. Following the incident, JC became extremely distressed and began engaging in self-injurious behavior; he has also refused to ride the bus again. JC’s mother, NH, sought help from the Child Study Team to get JC to school, but they refused to provide JC with any support. NH also requested a psychiatric evaluation, but the report was not translated into NH’s native language, Spanish, so she was not able to understand it. An IEP generated following the report contains no mention of either the bus incident or the psychiatric evaluation. NH is seeking a different out-of-district placement that does not require such a long bus ride, compensatory educational and/or counseling services if warranted, and possible compensatory damages for any viable tort action arising out of the bus elopement issue.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org




Negotiation with school district to obtain appropriate behavioral supports

TG is an 11-year-old 6th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD and has behavioral issues. He is placed in an out-of-district placement. There have been two incidents recently in which TG has been improperly restrained, one on the bus with an aide and the other in school in which a security guard grabbed the back of TG’s neck. Both incidents were captured on video but the school denied the request of TG’s mother, SO, to see the videos. SO believes the school does not have a good plan in place to help TG deescalate. She is seeking assistance in ensuring that her son is provided with appropriate behavioral supports.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org



Negotiation with district to obtain out-of-district placement

LB is a 9-year-old 3rd-grader who has a number of diagnoses including autism, anxiety, severe reflux, emotional-behavioral challenges, asthma, severe allergies, cardiac issues, Ehlers Danlos syndrome, dysautonomia, and partial facial paralysis. He is frequently hospitalized for gastrointestinal and other issues. He uses an adaptive stroller and an invasive feeding tube at all times, and his IEP provides for a one-to-one aide and one-to-one nurse at school and on the bus. LB’s mother, SB, does not believe an in-district placement can meet her son’s needs. He has not received any home instruction or services since March 2019, when he was hospitalized for a broken feeding tube. SB is seeking an out-of-district placement which meets LB’s medical, developmental, educational, behavioral, and other needs.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org



Representation at settlement conference to request OOD placement, additional services, IEEs, and possible comp ed.

DW is a 16-year-old 11th-grader who has been diagnosed with autism and has severe cognitive and communication deficits. He is currently in a self-contained class for students with moderate intellectual disabilities with an aide, receiving twice-weekly group speech-language (SL) services. His program and goals focus more on academics than skills or behavior; there is only one transition-related goal, and it involves simply making a list of jobs in the community. DW’s mother, NW, requested IEEs last year, but those that were completed were insufficient and lack recommendations. NW did obtain a private psychological evaluation which recommends an out-of-district autism school and emphasizes that DW needs more vocational/life skills training and SL and OT services. After NW filed for due process, the district agreed to let her observe a different program for her son, but it was not appropriate to meet his needs. NW has a settlement conference scheduled for late August; she is seeking representation to obtain an appropriate placement for her son, OT and additional individual SL therapy, IEEs including an FBA, appropriate transition services, and compensatory education if warranted.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org