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Decision Number
In Re: Isabel L.
Douglas & Eva L., Parents
Waukee Community School District and Heartland AEA 11
Full Text

The parents of a young girl diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disabilities ? Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) challenged both her educational placement and provisions of her behavioral intervention plan. They argued that her placement in a functional skills classroom with "typical" integration into general education was not the least restrictive placement and that the IEP team failed to consider supplemental aids and services to support a more inclusive program. The parents also asserted that behavioral interventions were intrusive, excessive, and unsupported by functional assessments. They claimed that the use of time-out and restraint were inconsistent with her IEP and with IDEA's requirement of positive behavioral support.

Held: For the parents. The Administrative Law Judge determined that the IEP team relied upon a standard for inclusion that required her to perform "on par" with at least two non-disabled peers in a general education classroom to "count" as inclusion. Reliance on that standard resulted in insufficient consideration of supplemental aids and services to support inclusive placements, as required by state and federal law. The ALJ also found that the behavioral support plan was not implemented in a manner consistent with applicable research or appropriate educational practices, was not adequately monitored, and was inconsistent with the positive behavioral supports mandated by the IDEA. The hand-over-hand intervention initially designed to address escape-based non-compliance "evolved" into restraint. The IEP team then proposed to replace the hand-over-hand with time-out, which was implemented for hour-long durations. The student was provided one-to-one instruction in an isolated "office", and "lost" integration time as a result of behavior problems in the functional skills classroom or the "office". The IEP team was directed to reconvene to develop a new IEP and behavior support plan with assistance from AEA experts and an outside consultant with expertise in autism or challenging behavior