Child appropriately mainstreamed where balanced need for special education with placement in the general education setting for select classes.

Topic: Special Education, Decided by: Judge Howells 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: December 23, 2013 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

Plaintiff, a child receiving special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), was not denied a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment.  Plaintiff, who has been diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that provides for her unique needs.  First, the IEP is similar to the one she had been provided with the year before and in which she had made progress.  Thus, it is calculated to provide Plaintiff with educational benefit.  Second, her placement is the least restrictive environment appropriate.  Specifically, because of Plaintiff’s abilities and learning style, she is best served by placement in a small special education setting for foundational classes where the material builds upon itself.  The instruction she requires for these classes is so different from that provided in the general classroom that she would require one-on-one instruction if placed in that setting.  The result would be an individualized special education class of one in a larger classroom, a level of accommodation not required by the IDEA.  Plaintiff is placed in the general education setting for other classes and is, thus, mainstreamed to the maximum extent appropriate.

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