Janice: I am working with a grandmother that has a 6 year old grandchild that is being served in special education under autism. As with many autistic students, he has many sensory issues concerning the foods he will eat. He only eats one brand of chicken nuggets. They have in the past sent the nuggets to school and his teacher (he is in self-contained class) has graciously agreed to heat them for 45 seconds. At some point the principal has gotten involved and said that heating isn’t allowed. His mother was given a meeting with the county nutritionist and was told to buy a particular thermos to send the warm nuggets in. They bought the $30 thermos. Not only did he not eat the nuggets because they were soggy but the thermos never came home and no one seems to know where it is. His mother has quit her full-time job so that she can come and bring him hot nuggets each day.
The cafeteria manager has offered to provide nuggets daily for the child but just not the brand he will eat. The county says that nutrition is not an IEP component even though this sensory issue IS a part of this child’s disability.
At this point all I can think of to tell family is to file a complaint with the state. What IDEA regulation or special education rule has this violated?