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Stuart:  If a parent insists on placing an autistic child in a general education high school class, and the student has had 3 IEP evaluations in one year that show the student cannot function well in a general education class, what are the alternatives for placement? The student has difficulty comprehending the textual and modified reading and is easily frustrated.

  1. My question concerns alternative placement. I could not find an area to begin a new strand. I am an alternative education teacher and I have 2 students in particular right now that I feel need a different placement. They have been in alternative classes on and off, mostly on, for 3 years. 5th grade through 7th. They are not showing improvement and I feel my class is a holding area for seriously problematic students that administration will not address. I feel I am baby-sitting students that should be in a psychiatric-day school setting where they can truly be helped. What can I do to protect my students and initiate a placement for the other two students that will be beneficial. Thank you.

    • Carol, the district may not want to spend the money and resources to out place them. LRE is huge now for students with mental health issues. The initiation of the process for outplacement may be more complex for these students. The parents/ guardians are the first place to start. Do the parents know their rights and responsibilities? Are they in foster care? If so, you may have layers including a foster parent and educational advocate, the bio parents and social worker. Have you consulted your school psychologist? You are right, they are dumping them in your class. Psychiatric outplacement is a process and a process that involves their rights as students as well as the guardians/parents, etc. Sadly, the students are being pushed along in the system and “dumped.”

  2. Stuart –

    When considering alternatives to the general education environment, the student’s IEP Team always should first consider if there are any additional services or supports that would help that student remain in that environment successfully.

    If that is not possible, there are many other potential placement types for students including some/all of the day in a resource room environment, some/all of the day in a substantially separate classroom, public/private day schools, public/private residential schools, home instruction, and instruction in institutions.

    These are general types of placements that schools are supposed to make available, listed from what is, more or less, considered the least restrictive to most restrictive.

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