Special diet does not justify in-home placement of special education child.

Topic: Special Education, Decided by: Judge Baxter 
Docket Number: ***** , Decision Date: November 18, 2010 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision on appeal. 

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court of the Northern District of Georgia, which had upheld Judge Amanda Baxter’s determination that Plaintiff, a student, was not denied a free appropriate public education (FAPE).  Plaintiff’s parents challenged her educational placement in a severe autism class, preferring she be given an in-home placement because of a strict diet regimen.  The Court found in-school placement to comply with FAPE, because (1) Plaintiff’s diet was not medically prescribed, and (2) there was no evidence that the school was unable to supply her with her special diet.  In addition, in-school placement satisfied the statutory preference for placement in the least restrictive environment.

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