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Call Us at: 954-765-8950 | Open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Story of Justice: Eduardo’s School Was Not Able to Handle His Special Needs

Eduardo’s School Was Not Able to Handle His Special Needs

Background

Eduardo is a sixteen-year-old child diagnosed with Autism and Language Impairment. Eduardo had been recently enrolled at a school that was not equipped to handle his needs. During an IEP Meeting at that school, many negative comments were made by school staff to Eduardo’s mother.

During this meeting, Eduardo’s mother expressed that he tends to “reach out to a person with his hands but it is a way of communication.” “Eduardo has had episodes at school and they have been aggressive, so he needs an area in the room or a place he can go to gather his emotions and thoughts.” The school responded by stating that they did not have an area that Eduardo could go to and that they do not have enough staff members to assist him if he displays behavioral issues.

Another staff member stated that she had a child enrolled at the school and was worried that Eduardo may attack other kids. All of these comments left Eduardo’s mother in a state of uncertainty for her son, and she knew this academic placement would not work out for very long. She just did not know how long it would last.

Legal Assistance

Eduardo was enrolled at this school for less than two weeks when he was suspended for being aggressive with a staff member. The school staff threatened to have him arrested. Eduardo’s mother stated that during his two weeks at the school she reached out to Eduardo’s teachers to introduce herself and to set up a weekly form of communication, but she was left with no response from the staff. After Eduardo’s suspension, his mother made attempts to get information on the incident – again, there was no response.

At this time, Legal Aid became involved in the case. Legal Aid researched and explored various placement options to help Eduardo find a school that could meet his needs and identified a more appropriate placement for Eduardo.

Why It Matters

In November of 2020, Eduardo was accepted and enrolled at a new appropriate learning center. Legal Aid was able to set up a meeting with the ESE Department, the mother, Eduardo’s teachers, and the support staff. During this meeting, there was a flood of positive comments about Eduardo. It was clear that the new learning center was happy to have Eduardo. They understood his needs and were well equipped to handle them. The teachers gave positive feedback and were willing to listen to the mother’s concerns and input.

Today, Eduardo is still at this learning center and is flourishing in his academics. Eduardo’s mother can see growth and happiness in her son and can worry less knowing that he is in an appropriate placement. Eduardo’s mother is grateful for Legal Aid’s involvement and the impact it had on Eduardo’s education and the overall trajectory of his life.

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

 

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