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Story of Justice: Bethany*

Bethany is a sixth grade student with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for the eligibilities of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Speech Impairment (SI).  Bethany’s mother sought assistance from Legal Aid because Bethany had received over 200 discipline referrals in just one school year. A review of Bethany’s special education file revealed that she had significant difficulty following directions, whether a simple command or more complex instructions regarding academic work. Our attorneys requested a re-evaluation, resulting in the determination that Bethany also has a Language Impairment (LI). The school district already was providing speech therapy services, so Bethany’s Positive Behavior Intervention Plan (PBIP) was amended to better serve her needs. Among other things, Bethany now receives rewards for positive behavior instead of discipline referrals for negative behavior. Following the involvement of the Legal Aid team, the school staff has been more attentive to Bethany’s needs, her behavior has dramatically improved, and her mother reports that Bethany has a much more positive attitude overall.

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients.

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