Darien school's ADHD eligibility added to special ed complaint
As the days pass, more problematic documents from within the Darien Public Schools Special Education Department are being forwarded to the state Department of Education.
Andrew Feinstein, a Mystic-based attorney representing a group of parents who filed a complaint against the schools for violating the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, provided Michael Tavernier of the Bureau of Special Education more "concerning documents from the Darien schools."
The documents, which Feinstein received from a parent, outline the "guidelines for determining eligibility based on Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder for students in Darien."
Feinstein said that the guidelines appear to be based on one test that is filled out by the teacher, a parent and the child.
"The IDEA specifically requires multiple testing instruments," Feinstein wrote in an email to Tavernier.
He wrote that the (Behavior Assessment System for Children), the single test instrument he referred to, "is not highly reliable because it is based on the observations of others. It does not directly measure the behavior of the child.
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"Darien guidelines show that they need to have evidence of it before age 7. But kids can develop attention deficit disorders that only become evident after the age of 7."
Additionally, in order for a student to be diagnosed with ADHD, he must meet the requirements for other health impairments, and then more specific requirements for ADHD.
The information was sent to Tavernier to accompany documentation from Feinstein and a group of Darien special education parents that shows what they feel is a blatant violation of the IDEA.
The state Bureau of Special Education has started the investigation into the Darien Special Education policies and expects to issue a report by June 30.
"I assume they're going to look at everything when they go in and make Darien clean up its act," Feinstein said.
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