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Case of Eduardo S.*

When third-grade special education student Eduardo S.* first came to YELP, he was mainstreamed in a general education classroom with inadequate behavioral and academic supports.  Rather than developing strategies to accommodate Eduardo's intellectual disability and emotional disturbance, the school put him under a table surrounded by a curtain in what they called his "cave" for up to two hours per day. 

Recognizing that this type of segregation, sensory deprivation, and seclusion is not an acceptable - and indeed, it is an unlawful - educational and behavioral intervention, Michael Reynolds ('13) and Lila Miller ('14) represented Eduardo and his mother at a special education negotiation to secure E.S.'s placement in an appropriate education environment. 

In the meantime, Eduardo's behaviors continued to escalate, resulting in the need to evacuate the classroom multiple times per day to restore order and safety.  The situation was so severe that the school district requested that Eduardo receive home instruction until his team determined a new school placement for him, a request that required his mother to miss nearly five weeks of work. 

Michael and Lila successfully arranged for the school district to reimburse Eduardo's mother for all of the work that she missed while staying home with Eduardo.  They also persuaded the school district to fund Eduardo's placement at a non-public school that meets his educational and behavioral needs.  Within one month of Eduardo starting school, both his mother and his new teacher reported that he was doing very well and had not been isolated or secluded once.

*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.