Answer: You are wise to think this may happen again. You need to write a letter and request that the IEP team meet to review and revise your child's IEP, in light of the behavior issues that led them to have him arrested. Your letter should include relevant information about your child's history and your concerns. (For more about this, read Preparing for IEP Meetings: Providing Information & Sharing Concerns)
Yes. Conducting functional behavioral assessments typically precedes developing positive behavioral intervention strategies.
Does “consideration of special factors” address the behavioral needs of children with disabilities in the IEP process?
Yes. The IEP Team determines whether a child needs positive behavioral interventions and supports. If the behavior of a child impedes the child’s learning or the learning of other children, the IEP Team must consider the use of positive behavioral supports, supports, and other strategies to address that behavior. (20 U.S.C. § 1414(d)(3)(B)(i), 34 C.F.R. § 300.324(a)(2)(i))
Must school districts train teachers regarding the use of positive behavioral interventions and support?
Yes. School districts must provide teachers with high-quality professional development, including the use of scientifically based instructional practices. School districts must ensure that personnel have the skills and knowledge necessary to improve the academic achievement and functional performance of children with disabilities. Each district must ensure that all personnel necessary are appropriately and adequately prepared.
(20 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(14), 34 C.F.R. § 300.156)
Must school districts use research-based positive behavioral supports and systematic and individual research-based interventions when addressing the behavioral needs of children with disabilities in their IEPs?
Yes. School districts must ensure that scientifically based research drives their professional development activities and services.
(34 C.F.R. § 300.226(b)(1))
The definition of "scientifically based research" is included in the regulations (34 C.F.R. § 300.35). Scientifically based research is referenced in IDEA 2004 (20 U.S.C. § 1411(e)(2)(C)(xi)). The full definition of the term “scientifically based research” includes that a peer-reviewed journal published the research, or that a panel of independent experts through a comparably rigorous, objective, and scientific review approved it.
No. IEP Teams make decisions on an individual basis for each child. IEP Teams need not consider such interventions, supports, and strategies for a particular group of children, or for all children with a particular disability. IEP Teams must consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies to address the behavior of a child whose behavior impedes the child’s learning or that of others.
(20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(3)(B)(i)), 34 C.F.R. § 300.324(a)(2)(i))
Legal Requirements of IEPs, Wrightslaw WebEx Training CD-ROM (1.25 hr training)
IDEA 2004: What You Need to Know About IEPs & IEP Meetings - How did IEPs change under IDEA 2004? What does the law say about developing, reviewing and revising IEPs? Who may be excused from IEP meetings, when, how? When can the child's IEP be changed without an IEP meeting? What services must be provided when a child transfers to a district in the same state? A different state? What are multi-year IEPs?
10 Tips: How to Use IDEA 2004 to Improve Education for Children with Disabilities - Parent attorney Wayne Steedman explains how IDEA 2004 creates a higher standard for a free, appropriate public education and how parents can use NCLB to obtain a better IEP for their children. Learn how to include research based methodology in the IEP and ensure how to that the IEP goals are comprehensive, specific -- and measurable. Wayne advises you about pitfalls to avoid and offers advice about how you can resolve disputes without resorting to a due process hearing - and what you should do if you cannot resolve your dispute.
Howey is an advocate who has helped parents obtain special education services
and resolve special education disputes. Read more of Pat's answers to questions submitted by people just like you in Ask the Advocate.