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Student Not Eligible For Special Education Services Where At-Home Behaviors Did Not Adversely Affect Educational Performance

In the case of Q.W. v. Bd. of Edn., 6th Cir. No. 15-5160, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5160, the parents of a student with autism appealed a school board’s decision that their son’s condition did not adversely affect his educational performance and, as a result, he was no longer eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”).  The board made this decision because, while the student exhibited self-injurious acts at home, the student generally displayed good at-school behavior.

A federal appeals court agreed with the school board’s judgment in curtailing its review of the student’s educational performance to the classroom and school environment as the behavioral deficits that were exhibited at home but were not shown to interfere with his school-based performance.

This case reemphasizes that eligibility for special education services under the IDEA is determined by considering whether the child has a disability that adversely impacts educational performance as opposed to the child’s behavior outside of school.

To read this case, please click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and Patrick Vrobel

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