SF vs. Montgomery County Intermediate Unit

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: S.F.

ODR # 2889/11-12AS

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: March 30, 2012 April 16, 2012 April 23, 2012 June 5, 2012

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

Montgomery County Intermediate Unit 1605 West Main Street
Norristown, PA 19403

Representative:
Liliana Yazno-Bartle, Esquire Grove Summit Office Park 607A North Easton Road Willow Grove, PA 19090

Timothy E. Gilsbach, Esquire 10 Sentry Parkway, Suite 200 P. O. Box 3001
Blue Bell, PA 19422

Date Record Closed: June 26, 2012

Date of Decision: July 3, 2012

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D., CHO Certified Hearing Official

Background

Child1 is a preschool-aged child who resides in the area served by the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit [IU]. Child currently attends a private pre-school program and is provided special education and related services by the IU in that environment.

The Parents filed for this hearing, contending that the IU failed to provide all the special education and related services which Child should have received since the transition from the Birth to Three program, and also that Child requires a typical preschool placement in order to benefit meaningfully from the special education program. The Parents are asking for compensatory education, reimbursement for the private preschool tuition, and an order for prospective placement in that same private preschool for the 2012-2013 school year. The IU claims that, aside from missed services that it intends to make up, no compensatory education is due and owing, and the Parents are not, by law, entitled to reimbursement for private preschool tuition or an order for a prospective placement in that setting.

For the reasons presented below I find for the Parents in part and for the IU in part.

Issues

  1. Did the IU deny Child a free, appropriate public education by failing to provide specific physical therapy, speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, direct instruction, feeding therapy, and a medically trained personal care assistant; and, if so, is Child entitled to compensatory education and, if so, in what form and amount?
  2. Did the IU deny Child a free, appropriate public education by failing to provide an adaptive activities chair, a toileting chair, a stander/gait trainer, a wheelchair, an appropriate augmentative communication device, and appropriate training and consultation for each device, and, if so, is Child entitled to compensatory education and, if so, in what form and amount?
  3. Does Child require a placement in a typical preschool setting in order to be provided with a free, appropriate public education and, if so, should the Parents be reimbursed for preschool tuition already paid and should the IU be directed to place Child prospectively in a typical preschool that includes summer programming?
S-F-Montgomery-County-Intermediate-Unit-ODRNo-2889-11-12AS

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