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Special Education - Success

The Law Offices of Linda A. Geraci is proud to have successfully represented children of all ages with a variety of special needs and challenges. Here are some of our success stories. Some of these results were achieved through litigation; most of them, however, were the result of negotiation.

Student Reclassified
Learning disabled student was declassified and denied services despite markedly declining test scores.

After requesting a hearing, negotiated reclassification with appropriate services.

Parents also were reimbursed for private evaluations and tutoring.

100% Tuition Reimbursement
16 year old boy with long history of aggression and emotional challenges was placed by his parents in a residential therapeutic school.

Successfully negotiated full reimbursement of tuition, transportation costs and attorney's fees.

Child Maintained in Self-Contained Class
Learning disabled child had been doing well in a self-contained setting, yet the District proposed placing him in an inclusion class with a lower level of support.

After extensive preparation for hearing, secured the District's consent to continue self-contained classes with some supported mainstreaming.

Parents were also reimbursed for a private speech evaluation.

Compensatory Education
District failed to evaluate a student with Asperger's Syndrome who had moved into the District with a prior IEP.

The District eventually developed an IEP which was not based on current evaluations and did not provide all required services.

We assisted parents in obtaining private evaluations which documented regression in several areas.

After we filed for an impartial hearing the District agreed to provide compensatory speech, occupational therapy and social skills training to make up for the months student had not received these services.

The parents also received full reimbursement for 3 independent evaluations and attorney's fees.

Student Reclassified and 100% Tuition Reimbursement
The parents of a learning disabled student who was declassified and denied services despite declining test scores, unilaterally placed the student in private school.

After considerable preparation and extensive litigation, a hearing officer determined that the District must reclassify the student. The hearing officer also determined that the parents were not entitled to tuition reimbursement for the private school placement, stating he had insufficient information about her progress there because she had been there only 6 weeks.

Upon appeal, the State Review Officer reversed the Hearing Officer's determination and awarded full tuition reimbursement to the parents. This determination also entitled the parents to full reimbursement for attorney's fees.

Our success on appeal also prompted the District to pay for an additional year's tuition at the private school without need for further litigation.

Parent's Attorney's Fees Fully Reimbursed after Successfully Getting Student Placed in Inclusion with Supplemental Services
A mentally retarded student with behavioral issues was placed in a Self Contained class to address those issues, a setting the parents considered overly restrictive.

After requesting an impartial hearing, a settlement was reached. The settlement agreement provided that the student was to be placed in inclusion with the exception of one class and that the student was to be given a multitude of services to ensure his success in inclusion. Effective bargaining also led to the parents' full reimbursement of attorney's fees.

Private School Tuition and Independent Educational Evaluation Fully Reimbursed
Parent unilaterally placed learning disabled student in private school after the results from an Independent Educational Evaluation were ignored by the Committee on Special Education (CSE), who failed to recommend a daily program of Orton-Gillingham instruction in reading.

After extensive preparation and a hearing, a hearing officer awarded the parents 50% of the private school tuition and 50% of the cost of the Independent Educational Evaluation.

Upon successful appeal to the State Review Officer (SRO), the Hearing Officer's findings were amended and the parents were awarded 100% of the costs for the private school placement and Independent Educational Evaluation. This decision carried with it, the parent's right to be reimbursed, in full, for attorney's fees.

Because the SRO decision conferred pendency placement status on the private school, the District then agreed to pay for an additional year's tuition without further litigation.

Student Receives Appropriate Classification and the District Pay 90% of Attorney's Fees
A student with severe unremediated learning disabilities was inappropriately classified as Emotionally Disabled and unjustifiably placed in a private day treatment facility for emotionally troubled youths.

After requesting a hearing, a settlement was reached immediately. We successfully negotiated the District's commitment to place the student in a part-time academic program for children with learning disabilities and a part-time vocational program in line with his interests.

The District paid 90% of the parent's attorney's fees.

2 Years of Private School Tuition and Transportation Paid
Parents placed a 9 year old student with autism and a seizure disorder in a private school for autistic children after the District's placement caused severe regression.

A hearing was requested and on the second day of hearing, a settlement was reached. The negotiated settlement included full reimbursement of the private school tuition and travel expenses, for two years, as well as reimbursement of attorney's fees.

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