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Monday, May 2, 2011

Asperger Truancy Charges

WPLG in Miami reports (h/t Disability Scoop):
The parents of a South Florida boy suffering from Asperger's syndrome said Broward School District administrators are threatening them with criminal truancy charges while they strive to find a proper class for their son.

The boy, 7-year-old Blake Buell, suffers from the developmental disorder, which is similar to autism, but different enough that his parents weren't happy when administrators at Floranada Elementary School placed their son in a class full of autistic children last fall.

"Their IQs were lower and they were not at grade level," said Blake’s mother, Nannette Buell. "Blake is at grade level, but his behavioral difficulties were causing him not to be able to access his education."

The Buells pulled Blake out of school and put him in an expensive, private program. Because the district didn't offer a more suitable program for Blake, his parents said the district is required, by law, to use federal money to pay for the program in which they enrolled Blake.

They asked the district for a due process hearing on the matter, but instead, the district threatened to have the Buells charged with truancy, a second-degree misdemeanor, because Blake isn't attending the class in which he was placed.

"And I feel the reason they did that is mainly because they didn't want to have to pay for the treatment," said Rick Buell, Blake’s father.