Adam Wasserman Site


Counsel for Student: Lynda Williams, Leroy Sumter, and Sheila Bayne

Counsel for District: Dee Anna Hassanpour and Merle Gould

Representative for District: Jessica Lauder

ALJ: Brian H. Krikorian

Date of Decision: February 27, 2023

Significant areas of law: An IEP team meeting conducted well in time, with all the required participants, addressing parent’s concerns, discussing student’s current performance and setting appropriate goals to address student’s special needs is considered an appropriate IEP team meeting.  


  • Did District deny student a FAPE by failing to properly assess her for current levels and transition needs or failing to schedule and hold IEP team meetings?


  • Student was 11 years old eligible for special education under the categories of Orthopedic Impairment and Other Health Impairment. Student was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome. Complications of Rett syndrome can include seizures, scoliosis, and sleeping problems. Student also suffered from Apraxia which made her unable to use words easily, and coordinate her movements, especially walking and hand use. She required a feeding tube and assistance to go to the bathroom.


  • District DID NOT deny student a FAPE by failing to properly assess her for current levels and transition needs or failing to schedule and hold IEP team meetings.


  • District assessed student’s current level of performance using different methods including an adult to hold up two hands and give Student a choice of ‘yes’ and ‘no’, a white board offering two to four choices, a device called a “talker”, and a tablet that could be programmed with various choices. District also obtained feedback from parents, teachers, specialists and therapists.
  • District also held the IEP meetings with all the required participants wherein it was discussed that was doing well in her occupational therapy sessions, was focused, and making progress on her goals. In all IEP team meetings, parent’s requests were considered and addresses properly, current performance of the student was evaluated and appropriate and measurable goals were added.
  • Parents decided on their own to place student in an NPS of their choice considering it more appropriate for student’s needs. However, the teams of both schools collaborated well with parents and each other to gain a broader understanding of Student’s needs and services.
  • The team at parent’s chosen NPS continued to consult with the specialist providing adaptive technology assistance in previous school on appropriate modeling for Student and take appropriate steps keeping in view student’s needs.
  • To address student’s needs related to speech, the District contracted with an outside company, to provide on-site consultation to fix the technical difficulties in student’s Winslate device. The IEP team agreed to an assessment plan for additional adaptive augmentative communication devices to explore whether another device could be helpful, keeping in view the recommendations of the specialist providing adaptive technology assistance.


  • None.

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