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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Necessary vs. Appropriate in Reimbursement Case

SRO 13-078: Parents disagreed with the placement and program offered by the NYC DOE for their autistic child. The parents developed a home based program and put the DOE on notice of their intent to hold the DOE financially responsible. There was no disagreement as to the need for ABA services, but the DOE maintained that the student could benefit from 5 hours per week, rather than the 10 hours ordered by the IHO. While the SRO found that while the evidence supported a determination that only 5 hours per week were necessary, “parents were not required to limit the ABA services with exacting precision to the minimum level of services necessary to produce educational benefit.” The SRO went on to order the DOE to fund 8.5 hours per week as that was the level of service that the child was receiving and for which there was evidence of progress.