My Son has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and transitioning to School District-they r ommiting Special Education svs

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***I changed our names because we are just getting started *** Also, my son was seen yesterday again by the Developmental Peditrician and she concluded that he certainly needs Special Education and does not see alleged skills written into the IEP by current school. **** Below is the letter that I wrote but not yet submitted.

I am Mona Hughes, the mother of Kevin R. Hughes IV. I attended Kevin’s transition meeting on May 25, 2010 at Local Elementary Office of Pupil Services where it was decided by the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) to eliminate Kevin’s Special Education and Occupational Therapy Services. I was not included in this decision and was completely opposed. I am writing this letter in hopes that the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) will reconsider the decision. I disagree with the decision to eliminate Kevin’s services and am seeking to appeal the decision and initiate Due Process as necessary.

On the date of the CPSE meeting, Kevin continues to be enrolled full time at Crossroads Center for Children Preschool located in Glenville, New York. “Crossroads is a school for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Based on techniques of applied behavior analysis, the staff provides intensive instruction in all-important areas of a child's development. Applied behavior analysis is the fundamental approach for instruction at Crossroads Center for Children. It is currently the only intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders with scientific evidence of lasting effectiveness.”[1] Kevin receives remediation for his autistic symptoms in this center-based program. Remediation requires intensive formal instruction. Per Kevin’s IFSP, he currently receives special education services 5x a week for 30 minutes per 1:1 session and occupational therapy 1x a week 30 minutes per 1:1 session.

I called Early Intervention to have Kevin evaluated at around 18 months due to his not reaching age appropriate developmental milestones as expected. Kevin was evaluated by Early Intervention Services at around age 18 months. Subsequent to Kevin’s evaluation it had been determined that there existed a delay and he did qualify for speech, special education and occupational therapy services. Kevin’s services started at a rate of 3x a week 30 minutes per 1:1 session for speech and special education. He had occupational therapy 2x a week 30 minutes per 1:1 session. At this time Kevin’s services were home based.

Kevin attended his first Developmental Evaluation with Micaela Nordhauser, MD on 10/08/2009 where the following was determined:

  • Difficulty in social relatedness
  • Decreased joint attention
  • Majority of play is solitary
  • Examiner not able to establish typical social rapport
  • Independent play comprised of wandering with brief attention to preferred toys
  • Idiosyncratic play
  • Picking out all blocks of a single color
  • Does not follow directional command to obtain object from another room
  • Does not look or point to labeled pictures
  • Language skills at 13-15 months, expressive language 12 months
  • Language consistent with a diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder (Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)), likely an early presentation of Asperger Syndrome
  • Recommended that Kevin continue services in Special Education and Speech Therapy and as soon as feasible Kevin should participate in a center based program part time with ongoing home based services in addition to his center based program

Following the completion of the Developmental Evaluation, Kevin’s speech and special education services were increased. I obtained a list of appropriate center based programs and ultimately, Kevin was admitted to Crossroads Center for Children and began on January 4, 2010.

Kevin was determined to be provisionally eligible for services from the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.

Early Intervention Progress Report for January 2010 indicated the following:
·Kevin is able to participate in classroom activities when teacher prompts and models are intermittently provided
·Kevin engages in maladaptive behaviors that interfere with his learning including noncompliance, verbal refusals. Techniques of Applied Behavior Analysis are consistently implemented
·Kevin exhibits some maladaptive behaviors which can negatively impact his performance on may of his speech and language goals. Kevin has not completed any of his speech and language goals but continues to show improvement in the therapy setting
·Kevin has not mastered any of his Occupational Therapist (OT) goals, continued steady progress is expected. Maladaptive behaviors that impede in Kevin’s success include refusing to participate in a task and active non-compliance when a task is presented.

Early Intervention Progress Report for February 2010 indicated the following:
·Kevin engages in maladaptive behaviors that interfere with his learning. These behaviors include active non-compliance and verbal refusals

Kevin had a Developmental Re-Evaluation on February 25, 2010 that indicated the following:
·Kevin has been prescribed an iron supplement for iron deficiency as a result of his food sensitivity issues which are being addressed by occupational therapy
·Diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), likely early presentation of Asperger Syndrome
·Joint attention and reciprocity are still diminished
·Play remains atypical
·Inconsistently attentive to spoken language
·Still speaking primarily at a single word level with the exception of rote phrases
·Kevin evidences ongoing challenges in social engagement and atypicality of play in conjunction of delayed language which is consistent with a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)
·It is recommend that he continue in the Crossroads Preschool Program with ongoing services
Early Intervention Progress Report for March 2010 indicated the following:
·Kevin can take his clothing off but needs assistance with dressing himself
·Kevin engages in Maladaptive behaviors including refusal to participate in a task and active non compliance when a task is presented to him and verbal refusals

Early Intervention Progress Report for March 11, 2010 indicated:
·Kevin requires frequent reinforcement during structured tasks
·Kevin requires intermittent teacher prompting and redirection throughout classroom activities to attend and participate appropriately in activities
·Kevin continues to require adult prompting to interact appropriately with peers
·Kevin is not able to independently follow classroom rules due to impulsiveness and presence of maladaptive behaviors
·Following an extended break or vacation from school, Kevin requires more prompting to remain on task and follow teacher directions during group activities than prior to vacation
·Kevin required redirection to complete tasks as requested by the examiner. Testing was completed over two half-hour sessions due to testing fatigue
·Kevin currently engages in problematic behaviors that greatly interfere with his ability to acquire and demonstrate skills in the general classroom environment including verbal refusals and out of seat. Kevin requires redirection and prompting from the teacher throughout the day to decrease the occurrence of the behaviors
·Following a break from school, Kevin exhibits increased occurrences of verbal refusals and noncompliance. Kevin also requires increased frequency of reinforcement and physical prompting by teacher following school breaks
·During group play Kevin is able to participate only with redirection and intermittent physical prompting are provided by the teacher
·The Battelle Developmental Inventory, 2nd Edition (BDI-2): Personal Social Tasks, Kevin Adult Interaction scored 9 which is equivalent to age 2 years 5 months with a percentile rank of 37 range being average. Peer Interaction Kevin scored a 7, which is equivalent to 2 years 0months with a percentile rank of 16 and the range average. Finally, Self Concept and Social Role Kevin scored a 7 which is equivalent to age 2years 1month, percentile rank 16 and range is below average
·Pragmatic Language Assessment indicates that Kevin demonstrates difficulty using his language skills to initiate interactions. His language skills are delayed in compared to his peers.
·Kevin is unable to manage a buttoning strip and is unable to dress himself without assistance. The Battelle Developmental Inventory, 2nd Edition (BDI-2) Adaptive tasks, Kevin obtained a scaled score of 6 on the self care sub domain which correlates to the 9th percentile and age equivalent of less than 1 year 10 months.
·Kevin demonstrates behaviors in the area of eating, more specifically, refusal to try new foods and refusal to eat foods presented to him. It is believed to be behavioral rather than sensory and is addressed occupational therapy.

Early Intervention Progress Report for April 2010 indicated:
·Kevin enjoys social play activities with teacher prompting and redirection
·Kevin engages in maladaptive behaviors that interfere with his learning including active non –compliance and verbal refusals
·Kevin demonstrates maladaptive behaviors of body dropping, verbal refusals and emotional outbursts when asked to try new foods. Occupational Therapist (OT) sessions will focus on decreased oral sensitivity and aversion to various textures

Confidential Psychological Evaluation completed April 28, 2010 indicates:
·Kevin is not able to follow 2 part directions, recognize names/pictures of common objects or listen to a store for at least 5 minutes
·Kevin does not understand directions and situations as other same aged peers
·Kevin is unable to make his needs known or use words to tell about objects, persons or actions or use personal pronouns. He does not express himself as same aged peers
·Kevin’s language is not clear and can not be understood
·Shuts down when unfamiliar people initiate social contact
·Kevin has difficulty paying attention and requires more 1:1 attention
·Kevin has a high frequency of outbursts
·Kevin is not aware of dangerous situations
·Poor memory, attention span and ability to control himself
·During circle time Kevin alternated between sitting in his chair, sitting on the floor and standing. It was often necessary to prompt Kevin to remain seated or to get his attention
·Often distracted
·Kevin’s full scale IQ is low average, nonverbal is average and Verbal IQ is borderline impaired or delayed, Fluid reasoning is borderline impaired or delayed, Knowledge is low average, Quantitative Reasoning is low average, and Working Memory is low average
·Cognitive development is low average
·Kevin is more successful in a setting with a smaller student to teacher ratio and one with limited distractions

Crossroads Center for children believes that it would be in Kevin’s best interest to continue the Program. Kevin has annual goals that may be reached by June 2011 providing he continues his Program.

As Kevin’s parent I believe that his cognitive impairment is impeding his ability to learn as evidenced by his not being able to draw specific objects, dress himself, participate in cooperative appropriate play without redirection and continuous prompting, his inability to coherently speak about things that have happened, his low average intellectual functioning, deficits in his adaptive behavior, the inability to solve novel problems presented in pictures and figures, his inability to visually and auditory attend to environmental stimuli for varying lengths of time to retrieve information when given relevant clues to do so in both long and short term, his impairment in self concept and social role in which he ranges below average, his difficulty thinking, his continued behavioral challenges and Kevin’s clear regression after being absent from school due to vacations or days off. Kevin’s fluid reasoning and verbal IQ are said to be borderline impaired or delayed.

As Kevin’s parent, it is my understanding that I am a member of the CPSE committee. My attempts to discuss my concerns regarding Kevin’s deficits fell on deaf ears. The Chairperson of the CPSE meeting refused to listen or even acknowledge that Kevin does have deficits. I wasn’t given the chance to discuss the Developmental Pediatricians recommendations so I just blurted it out. The Chairperson did quickly comment, “ a doctor can not write a prescription for education, this is just her opinion and will not affect education.” The CPSE committee members did not consider the Developmental Pediatricians recommendations. I felt invisible and irrelevant. When the representatives (special education and speech therapist) from Crossroads presented their concerns, the County Representative continuously replied that Kevin’s behavior is normal. The Chairperson and the County representative said that occupational therapy is not a consideration and that Kevin no longer needs special education services. I respectfully disagree.

I am challenging the CPSE Committee’s decisions regarding my child’s special education and occupational therapy services and am requesting that my child continue to attend preschool at Crossroads Center for Children.

It is my firm belief that Kevin’s confidential psychological evaluation fails to capture Kevin’s true inabilities; therefore I am requesting an Independent Educational Evaluation at public expense.



Active Member
Wow! That's some history and a really powerful letter. Are you within the NYC school districts or upstate? Quite often these have to go to an impartial hearing. I can't imagine what this clown was talking about when he said that Doctors opinion doesn't set an educational plan. This guy has some major problems.

I would do a web search for a "free special education advocate + the name of your location" and see what you can do as far as support for this one. They really seem like they're cutting MAJOR corners.

I would make sure that the letter states VERY CLEARLY that you are refusing the current recommendation and want an independent evaluation done.

NO MATTER WHAT: Make sure the letter is sent certified mail. Things like this tend to go "missing" this close to the end of the school year!

Let us know how it works out!



New Member
Wow! What some schools clearly get away with. It is good that you are not letting them do so so easily.
As to the draft letter, I'd shorten it considerably, and refer briefly to the various reports (assuming the school has them), putting the details in an attachment if necessary. Also, I'd leave out the threat of due process as well. As for the independent evaluation request, I didn't see that they did any new evaluation to support denial of services previously approved - thus presumably supported by their own earlier evaluation. However ... all that is secondary to what I suggest you do first, which is hire a special education attorney to represent you and your son "yesterday". If you need help finding one, we can find directories to help.


Ditto above.

I'd do a separate letter requesting the evaluation(s) performed that concluded difficult child no longer qualified for services. (Keep in mind, that a parent has to approve formal evaluations conducted by the sd.) Send it via certified mail.
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