KK vs. Central Bucks School District

DECISION
Due Process Hearing for K.K.

ODR File No. 5786/05-06 KE

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Dates of Hearing: October 20, December 1, December 2, 2005 – Closed Hearing

Parties to the Hearing: Parent(s)

Central Bucks School District 16 Weldon Drive Doylestown, PA 18901

Representative:

Robert Lear, Esq.
Grove Summit Office Park 607A North Easton Street Willow Grove, PA 19090

Grace Deon, Esq. Eastburn and Gray
60 East Court Street P.O. Box 1389 Doylestown, PA 18901

Hearing Officer: Debra K. Wallet, Esq.

Date of Decision: January 7, 2006

BACKGROUND:

Student [hereinafter Student] is an 18-year-old (date of birth xx/xx/xx) in twelfth grade at [Redacted, hereinafter Private School]. Her Parents reside within the Central Bucks School District [hereinafter School District] where Student attended from kindergarten through March 2005, at which time Parents enrolled her in Private School for the balance of the eleventh-grade year.

Student was a severely premature baby weighing 1 pound 4 ounces at birth. She experienced many problems as a newborn and spent five months in intensive care. Student received physical therapy until three years of age followed by occupational therapy until age 12. Her medical history included ear infections, pneumonia, and strep infections. Student has been diagnosed with hyperacusis, an extreme sensitivity to sound, and other sensory abnormalities such as an intolerance to fabrics, particularly tags in her clothing. To counteract her over- reactivity to sound, she wears special “white noise” devices in both ears. She has residual cerebral palsy and a motor tic disorder. (N.T. 245, 248; P-1, p. 2). Student’s relevant diagnoses include: non-verbal learning disorder, severe sensory integration deficits, and a social anxiety disorder. (SD-5, p. 2).

Student was placed in special education in 4th grade. (N.T. 247). The School District initially identified Student as being in need of specially designed instruction for disability category “Other Health Impaired” and later “Specific Learning Disability.” (SD-1, p. 10; SD-5, p. 12).

Student is of average intelligence, but she has a complicated learning profile including ADHD, an anxiety disorder, and significant learning disabilities, particularly in math, relating to brain damage during the neonatal period. (S-4, p. 5).

Parents argue that for some time the School District has not been meeting all of Student’s needs, particularly those relating to her extreme anxiety and the auditory and sensory processing disorders, and that they have been required to seek a more appropriate program. They request tuition and transportation reimbursement beginning September 2005, as well as the costs of expert witnesses’ preparation and testimony.

The School District maintains that the IEPs for the eleventh and twelfth grade years were appropriate and constituted a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The District further maintains that the Private School is not appropriate and does not constitute the least restrictive environment for Student. Finally, the District argues that Parents are not entitled to reimbursement for the presentation of expert testimony in this due process hearing.

ISSUES:

1. Did the School District provide Student with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) based upon the June 2005 Individualized Education Program (IEP), as revised?

2. If the IEP was not appropriate, is Student entitled to reimbursement for tuition, transportation, and other expenses at the Private School?

3. Is Student entitled to expert witness fees?

K-K-Central-Bucks-ODRNo-5786-05-06-KE

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