The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an important decision in favor of parents. In A.M. v. The NYC DOE, the parents of E.H., a 6 year old autistic student, provided the CSE with private evaluations and assessments all of which concluded that E.H. needed a 1:1 ABA-based program. The school district had no evaluations or assessments that contradicted the private evaluations. Nevertheless, the DOE recommended its “default” District 75 6:1:1 autism program.
“When the reports and evaluative materials present at the [IEP] meeting yield a clear consensus, an IEP formulated for the child that fails to provide services consistent with that consensus is not ‘reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefits.’”
The Court concluded that school districts cannot simply place students into one of their available programs, restricting a student to those options if none of the available choices is appropriate for him/her.
This decision illustrates that it is more important than ever to have an updated, comprehensive private evaluation with clear and specific recommendations by an experienced clinician who is willing to advocate for your child’s needs at the IEP meeting, and at a hearing, if necessary.
Please contact us to discuss whether or not now is the time for your child to have an updated evaluation.