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Special Education Special: Placement

  • Posted on April 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM

For the last few months we’ve been struggling with Ben’s new school to reestablish the environment we expected Ben to receive when he was moved from his old elementary school to this new school. Finally, finally, finally we achieve that goal, and Ben’s behaviors and his academic progress are already seeing dramatic improvements.

So, why then, at his latest IEP, did the principal inform me that the environment Ben needed would not be available next year due to space requirements?

For those who may not be familiar with special education law, placement—including the environment in which services are received—is a decision that is supposed to be made based on the child’s needs, not on the basis of “administrative convenience.” This obviously includes Ben’s classroom environment, which is obviously a big, big issue considering Ben has lost several months of academic progress due to inappropriate placement.

So, after having proven, two years running, that environment is a big factor in Ben’s needs and having countless meetings to “figure this out” again, why would they change his placement for next year?

It looks like this is going to become an even bigger battle than we’ve already been through. So, what’s your child(ren)’s placement like? Does your child(ren)’s placement meet the child’s individual needs or the convenience of the school district? What have you done about it?