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4th Circuit Issues Pro-Child Decision
in ABA Lovaas Case

On March 25, 2003, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a unanimous decision in an ABA / Lovaas case.

In G. v. Fort Bragg Dependent Schools, the Court addressed the rights of children who attend Dept of Defense schools; FAPE & educational benefit; procedural safeguards and notice by parents; methodology issues; reimbursement for a home-based Lovaas program; compensatory education for failure to provide FAPE; prevailing party status & attorneys fees.

The Court described the background of the case as follows:

"G is the son of a Sergeant in the United States Air Force, stationed at Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, North Carolina. . ."

"Around the end of the 1995-1996 school year, concerned that G did not appear to be progressing in the development of appropriate behaviors and skills, G;s mother attended a conference on the "Lovaas" method. After some further research, G;s mother communicated to G's teachers and others within FBDS that she felt the Lovaas method held great promise for G."

"In May of 1996, FBDS proposed an IEP for G . . . the proposed IEP did not include any Lovaas techniques or methods, and G's mother rejected it."

"Instead, beginning in the summer of 1996, G's parents took steps to have the Lovaas method provided for G in their home by private consultants certified in its implementation. To pay the cost of the program, G's parents launched an ambitious fundraising effort, eventually raising over $37,000 from community sources."

Download the decision in G v. Fort Bragg Dependent Schools (pdf)

The child's attorney is:
Paul L. Erickson, Esq.
Asheville Legal Center, Building One, Suite Three
1998 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, North Carolina 28803
(828) 684-7884
Fax (828) 684-6889

ABA / Lovaas Caselaw

ABA/Lovaas caselaw continues to evolve. If you want to learn more about these issues, it will help to read decisions will help. You will find more ABA/Lovaas cases on the Autism page and in the Caselaw Library.

T. H. v. Bd. Ed. Palatine IL (N. D. IL 1999)

T. H. v. Bd of Education of Palatine IL is a powerful well-written decision in ABA-Lovaas case; discusses methodology, IEP development process; IEP goals and objectives, individualization, educational benefit, unilateral placement by parents, reimbursement, standard of review.

Michael v. Kanawaha (S.D. WVA 2000)

Michael M v. Kanawaha is one of Pete's favorite cases; the decision includes an excellent discussion of IEPs.

Stefan Jaynes v. Newport News (E.D. VA 2000)

In Jaynes v. Newport News, the school failed to provide an appropriate program for a young child with autism; judge ordered school to reimburse parents more than 100K. (Pete Wright represented Stefan)

Stefan Jaynes v. Newport News (4th Cir. 2001)

Jaynes v. Newport News involves a child with autism whose parents provided intensive homebased ABA/Lovaas program; discussion of statutes of limitations, procedural safeguards, notice requirements, and reimbursement; 4th Circuit upholds earlier decision that school must reimburse parents for ABA / Lovaas program.

Amanda C. v. Clark County Sch. Dist. and Nevada Dept of Educ. (9th Cir. 2001)

In Amanda C. v. Clark County School District, the Court of Appeals reinstates the hearing officer's decision; cites school employees for failure to inform parents of rights; procedural safeguards violations.

For more caselaw about special education issues, please visit the Caselaw Library


Please go to the Autism page for FAQs, articles, and legal resources about autism, extended school year, LRE / inclusion, book recommendations, free publications, and a short list of information and support groups about autism.

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