SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER
DUE PROCESS HEARING
Name of Child: I.T.
ODR #02004/10-11 KE
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: March 22, 2011 March 29, 2011
Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]
Perkiomen Valley School District 3 Iron Bridge Drive
Coatsville, PA 19426
Frederick Stanczak, Esquire
179 North Broad Street 2nd Floor Doylestown, PA 18901
Timothy Gilsbach, Esquire Fox Rothschild
10 Sentry Parkway Suite 200 PO Box 3001
Blue Bell, PA 19422
Date Record Closed: April 13, 2011
Date of Decision: April 14, 2011
Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D., CHO Certified Hearing Official
Student1 is an eligible kindergarten student on the autistic spectrum residing in the Perkiomen Valley School District (District). The Parents requested this hearing given their disapproval of the placements and programs offered to Student, specifically objecting to the initial proposal to place Student in the autistic support classroom for half the school day in addition to a half-day in the regular education kindergarten, and to the District’s refusal to provide home-based ABA services as part of Student’s program. They are seeking reimbursement for the ABA they provided privately and desire continuation of ABA at the level currently being provided. The District maintains that it offered Student appropriate placements and programs.
An ancillary issue is the Parents’ position that the ABA program provided in the home is a pendent service and therefore they should be reimbursed from the point the District became responsible for Student’s education to the conclusion of these proceedings. The District maintains that pendency does not apply.
The Issues to be addressed in this decision, as articulated on the record by the hearing officer and endorsed on the record by counsel for both parties, are as follows:
- Was the IEP offered to Student in August 2010 inappropriate? Specifically, was the proposed placement in the autistic support classroom for half the day and a regular education kindergarten classroom for half the day inappropriate, and was the refusal to provide a home-based ABA program inappropriate?
- Was the IEP offered to Student in October 2010 inappropriate? Specifically, was the proposed placement in regular education kindergarten for half the day with speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, social skills groups and autistic support but without provision of a home-based ABA program inappropriate?
- In order for Student to receive FAPE does Student require ten hours per week of ABA programming including supervision and staff meetings?
- If Student does require the ABA program should the Parents be reimbursed for their payments for this service from the beginning of the school year until the present?
- Was the ABA program being funded by the Parents a pendent placement?