Extended School Year for behavioral issues?


New Member
Hi all:

My son is in 1st grade and has hyperlexia with high functioning autism, and has been on IFSP/IEP since he was a toddler. Although he has a significant language delay, he is and always has been academically on target or ahead of target, except for maybe in writing. In the past, we were always told that he didn't qualify for ESY because that is for kids who are academically behind. We challenged them on that this year at his IEP meeting (they were ready to check the "no ESY" box as usual) and argued that he should get ESY to address his behavioral and speech issues. We have an "ESY meeting" scheduled for Monday. Anyone have any advice on how to convince the school that he should get services over the summer???


New Member
My difficult child had esy services this past summer specifically for behavior challenges. I can't say i've been impressed with the program that she had...not really the right program for her...but it has been of some benefit.
I have copied the esy portion from sheila's smart IEP post below. At the end is the link they mentioned from the website.

From Pete: You say "some large schools with over 1,000 students say that they don't have any children who qualify for ESY." How can this be true?

It isn't true!
Extended School Year Services (ESY)

Schools often fight huge battles to avoid providing ESY services. Many school staff don't seem to know what the law requires for Extended School Year services. The law requires that schools provide children with the educational services they need - not what is convenient for school administrators.

Children with learning disabilities need repetition - they don't get repetition when schools take long breaks - holiday breaks, fall breaks, spring breaks, summer breaks. The Reusch v. Fountain case posted on our website does a good job of explaining the standards and requirements for ESY. That case was decided in 1994 but many schools are still trying to get out of providing ESY.



member since 1999
Off the cuff, as just a mom, I'd say there are 2 very good reasons for ESY that are "easy" to justify - if the child has IEP goals that have not been met and/or if you can make a case for regression (behaviorally, academically, socially, and/or developmentally) over the unstructured summer months.

Our experience with ESY has not been great in terms of addressing IEP goals, frequency of related services, or even maintaing current level of function. If you have other options that are developmentally/age/socially appropriate for your kiddo, and are able to afford them, I'd go with- them (thinking maybe a day camp?). Again, just our experience, but do not expect the same level of services in ESY. Every ESY program my kids have been in (with the exception of difficult child when he's been in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) programs) have been half-day, 4 days a week, for 4 weeks during the summer. Hindsight being 20/20, my kids would have been *much* better served in a day camp or overnight camp that was familiar with- their needs (and had we won the lottery 15 years ago :wink: ).


New Member
You have to have regression documented to show the need for ESY. Over spring break would be a great time to do it. Does your child have behavior goals in his IEP that are measurable? Ask for data they have before spring break and request it again a week or so after spring break and then again a week later and so on. Not only do you have to show regression but you have to show that a (can't remember the exact word) large amount of time went into and was wasted bouncing back from the regression. I wish I could give all my students ESY gosh knows they need the structure but the county I live in would never have it. Good luck!!!


New Member
Thanks, all. We have significant documentation of behavioral regression from last fall (when he was in the school from h*ll) and his new IEP has lots of measurable behavioral goals. Plus, the consulting psychologist that the district brought in for his IEP advocated in favor of ESY. Hard to believe they are still dragging their feet on this. It looks like the ESY program is 4 days a week, half a day. We wouldn't do this as his only summer program--he is signed up for a 3 times a week social skills group with a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) as well, and we will probably put him in a mainstream parks & recreation program, which he did fine in last year. Part of the reason I want the school district to give him ESY for the behavioral issues is that it is my firm belief that they CAUSED a lot of the behavioral problems. (Long story about what happened to him last fall. Suffice it to say that it resulted in them settling our IDEA due process claim with significant compensation, compensatory education, attorney fees, and a much better placement.)