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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 THE ISSUE Party 1 Party 2 Amherst-Pelham Regional School District (Amherst, MA) 13 year old boy The Decision Does Amherst's proposed IEP provide this student with a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment, and in order to implement the IEP does the student require a private, out-of-district placement? Student has a diagnosis of autism. He has substantial deficits in learning, communication, social, and behavioral areas. Academic skills are near a pre-elementary level. Student is engaging and friendly. He loves the outdoors and gross motor activities. He is tall for his age and very strong. Student receives the following special education services outside of the general education classroom: all academics, speech and language (4x30 mins), OT (2x30mins). He also receives these services throughout the summer. After student moved into the district from Washington state, the IEP team determined a full evaluation should be done on the student. At the beginning of the school year the student was included in gym, chorus, and general advisory sessions with typical students. Student was assigned two female staff members, who could not control him, Amherst then hired a larger male staff person who had experience working with students with behavioral difficulties. Student would be extremely compulsivemaking it impossible for him to participate appropriately. It was also frightening and dangerous to other students, which made it difficult to provide him with a peer group with whom he could learn. Student did show some improvement later in the year, possibly because student became used to environment, medication side effects wore off,sensory breaks were incorporated, and use of an iPod for communication, but his learning is related to his behavior. By the end of the school year the student continued to require two staff members due to bolting, yelling, stomping of his feet, self-injurious behavior, and injuring others. Going into 8th grade Student has made minimal progress. The Functional Behavior Analysis recommends a highly-structured environment that includes an Applied Learning and Behavior program, which does not exist within the Amherst School District. Federal and State Laws Student falls under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA was enacted to ensure all children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education(FAPE). FAPE must provide the least restricive environment (LRE). Through FAPE a school district must develop an IEP that enables the child to receive educational benefits. Massachusetts standards require special education services to be "designed to develop the [student's] educational potential". The Decision Amherst's most recently-proposed IEP is reasonably calculated to provide the student with a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. To do this a private, out-of-district placement is necessary to implement the IEP. Student has a tendency to boltso mother proposed using a tether,but staff said this stigmatized him and didn't promote inclusion.
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