Special Education Hearing Officer
Eligible Young Child’s Name: R.R.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
ODR No. 01822-1011 JS
Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]
Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit 19
1200 Line Street Archbald, PA 18403-1918
Tanya A. Alvarado, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices 30 Cassatt Avenue
Berwyn, PA 19312
Erin D. Gilsbach, Esquire
King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC One West Broad Street Suite 700 Bethlehem, PA 18018
Dates of Hearing: February 11, 2011, March 18, 2011, March 30, 2011, May 9, 2011
Record Closed: May 27, 2011
Date of Decision: June 11, 2011
Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Child is an eligible young child of elementary school age; Child at all relevant times resided within the jurisdiction of the Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit 19 (IU), and was identified as a child with a disability eligible for early intervention services. (NT 13-14; P- 3.) Child presently is identified with Autism and Mental Retardation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA). Ibid. Parent requested due process to require the IU to pay for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) and for compensatory education due to alleged failure to comply with Child Find obligations, to provide an appropriate evaluation, and provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The District asserts that it has evaluated Child appropriately based upon what it knew at the time of enrollment in its Preschool program, and that there is no basis to award an IEE at public expense.
The hearing was conducted in four sessions and the record closed upon receipt of written summations. I conclude that the IU failed to provide an appropriate evaluation and to provide a FAPE. I deny the request for an IEE.
- Did the IU fail to perform its Child Find obligations during the period of time beginning March 30, 2009 to December 18, 2009, by failing to identify the Child as a child with a disability due to diagnoses of Intellectual Disability and Autism, scattered cognitive functioning, sensory integration issues, auditory processing issues, a gap between achievement and cognitive ability or behaviors that impede learning?
- Did the IU fail to provide an appropriate educational evaluation during the period of time beginning February 23, 2009 to December 18, 2009 (relevant period), by failing to evaluate appropriately the Child’s suspected disabilities and educational needs due to diagnoses or suspected diagnoses of Intellectual Disability and Autism, scattered cognitive functioning, sensory integration issues, auditory processing issues, a gap between achievement and cognitive ability or behaviors that impede learning?
- Did the IU fail to offer an appropriate placement to the Child during the relevant period?
- Did the IU fail to offer appropriate educational services during the relevant period with regard to educational needs arising from mental retardation, autism, specific learning disability, other health impairment, serious emotional disturbance, or speech and language disability, including needs for occupational therapy?
- Did the IU fail to offer appropriate transitional services during the relevant period for the Child’s transition to school age?
- Did the IU fail to offer appropriate extended school year services to Child during the relevant period?
- Should the HO order an IEE based on equitable considerations or based on a present need for evaluation that cannot be provided by the Child’s LEA?
- Should the HO order the IU to provide compensatory education for all or any part of the relevant period?