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Expert Q&A

Can a school district completely eliminate a service that is used by learning disabled children?

I have been a homebound teacher for a family with severe chemical sensitivity issues for the past fifteen years. We live in Florida in Volusia County. One of the children is a high school student with a diagnosis of autism. The other two children have processing and fine and gross motor problems that have been diagnosed by Easter Seals and testing by the school system. I have been working with them one on one, two times a week for two hours each session. They have always had an IEP and special testing accommodations. This year our school district has decided to use an online program, K12 Inc.

The mother went to an IEP meeting last week and was told that all three children are to use the computer program and no one will be sent to the home to work with them individually. The child with autism was on track to graduate with the extra math help he is receiving. The mother has a sick husband and is trying to support the family by working part-time from home. None of the children will be able to do the computer program without the mother’s help. My question is … is this an appropriate education and is there anything the mother can do to get these children some help?

You are to be commended for your concern about the education and welfare of these students and their family. It appears that the school is making major changes to each child’s program and may be doing so for financial reasons rather than because of what is appropriate for each child. The parent has the right to request a due process hearing on behalf of each child to challenge the school’s decision. If she is successful in the due process proceedings, the school would have to reinstate the prior services. She sounds like she needs a lot of advocacy help. I would suggest that you check the National Disability Rights Network website(opens in a new window) for the name of the federally funded advocacy organization in your state.

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