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(5.40) My child has ongoing behavior problems. Does the district have any responsibility to address those problems?

(5.40) My child has ongoing behavior problems. Does the district have any responsibility to address those problems?

Yes.  If your child has behaviors which interfere with your child’s or another child’s learning, federal law requires that the IEP team must consider which behavior supports and strategies and other services are needed so that your child can benefit from education in the least restrictive environment (LRE). [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.324(a)(2),(b)(2).] Write a letter to your child’s school informing them of their duty to have goals and services related to your child’s behavioral needs in her IEP.

The school district has to provide the type of assessment, plan, services or supports that your child’s IEP team determines are necessary to help your child with her behavior in school so your child can benefit from education and not have to move to a more restrictive setting, such as a special day class or day treatment program.

Your child’s IEP should include a statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids, and services to be provided to your child, and a statement of measurable annual behavior goals designed to address your child’s behavior needs. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.320(a)(2),(4).]  If behavior is getting in the way of your child learning or remaining in a regular classroom or less restrictive setting, his IEP should contain a statement of the behavioral support services he needs.  [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56364.2.] 

If your child’s school agrees that your child has behavior needs and the IEP does not include supports or strategies to address the behavior and/or does not state goals related to your child’s behavior, you should first write a letter to your school informing them of their duty to develop behavioral goals and services in your child’s IEP, and if you don’t hear from them, then you should consider filing a compliance complaint with the California Department of Education (CDE). If your child’s IEP contains services, supports or strategies to address these behavioral needs but they have been ineffective, your district should call for an IEP.  However, you can request an IEP yourself to address your child’s lack of progress. You may consider filing a due process hearing request. [See Chapter 6, Information on Due Process/Compliance Procedures.]