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The missing piece of the autism jigsaw puzzle: how the idea should better address disciplinary procedures.

INTRODUCTION

Often when autistic individuals become overwhelmed, they may throw tantrums or have meltdowns. While states are starting to provide training workshops for public officials in order to teach them how to deal with these situations, teachers who come into daily contact with autistic students are often uninformed on how to act. Over the years, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (1) has promoted the integration of disabled students, including autistic students, into the general education classrooms. Now more than ever, teachers without special education training are finding autistic students in their classrooms. In order to effectively calm the students and allow them to remain in the general education classroom, teachers need at least a general understanding of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Since the IDEA leaves much of its regulation up to the states, this note suggests that the IDEA should create a mandate for states to develop training for all teachers, not just special education teachers, to inform them of the most effective ways to interact with autistic children. This note will discuss of (1) the autism spectrum disorder and its growing prevalence, (2) the purpose and background of the IDEA, (3) the IDEA's failure to provide guidance on handling an autistic meltdown, and (4) some suggestions for the IDEA to fill these gaps and provide a safe and enriching learning environment for autistic children.

I. AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect thousands of families each year. (2) The term "autism spectrum disorder" encompasses a range of developmental disabilities, mainly Autism Disorder, Asperger's Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. (3) Autism has only recently grown into what some experts refer to as an "epidemic." (4) Over the past decades, diagnoses have grown exponentially. (5) When autism was first described in 1943, (6) little about the disability was understood. Before 1980, only 1 of every 2,000 people was believed to have autism. (7) Over the past few decades, public awareness has grown, and scientific research has aided understanding the disability. (8) A 2006 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control suggests that as many as 1 in every 100 children are diagnosed with a disability included on the autism spectrum. (9) Autism is the only disability that has more than quintupled its numbers since 1997, from around 42,500 cases to more than 224,500 in 2006. (10) While these numbers are staggering, it is not likely that they stem solely from a wider prevalence of autism in society. (11) Instead, the increased awareness and broader definition of autism likely play a role.

Autism affects individuals differently. Those diagnosed with an ASD experience difficulty in communication, socialization, and behavior. (12) Autistic individuals may not look people in the eye when they are talking to them or may repeat back what was just said. (13) They may show a lack of interest in their surroundings and have a difficult time understanding others' feelings. (14) While the ultimate cause of autism is unknown, many autistic individuals process sensations irregularly due to overactive neurons in their brains. (15) Many autistic individuals are hypersensitive to sound and experience excruciating pain whenever a truck passes by or a siren sounds. (16) On the other hand, those with hyposensitivity may be unable to feel anything without large stimuli. (17) These bimodal reactions, on top of their communication struggles, often place a barrier between autistic individuals and a normal life. Although they may act differently, and it may be difficult to communicate with them, individuals on the autism spectrum are often compassionate and respectful; they just may have a difficult time expressing it.

As the prevalence of autism has increased, the American Psychiatric Association has expanded the reach of the autism spectrum by broadening the definition of autism itself. (18) Autism grew from a black-and-white disability into a spectrum disorder as doctors started to attribute more of the traits and characteristics seen in their patients to the disorder. (19) Scientists also began to recognize that autism could coexist with other disabilities. (20) As a result, the spectrum now applies to more individuals, and scientists have had difficulty pinpointing a single description of the disability. (21) In fact, the American Psychiatric Association has proposed a revision to the proper term likely to occur in 2013 that will further broaden the scope of the disorder. (22) This broader scope may increase the frequency of an autism diagnosis, and thus the need for more funds to provide for this population.

As the scope and prevalence of autism continue to grow, so does public awareness. Many people are familiar with the autism awareness symbol, a multi-colored ribbon decorated with jigsaw puzzle pieces. (23) The ribbon, often seen on car magnets, recognizes both the mystery and diversity of the causes of ASD and the efforts being made to improve the lives of those with an ASD. (24) Television shows and movies are also increasing awareness by including characters who have autism and Asperger's syndrome to shine a light on the challenges those individuals face every day. (25)

Since a child's development greatly impacts her well-being as an adult, it is important to reach autistic individuals and provide behavior therapies for them at young ages. (26) Efforts to reach these children in public schools are growing, as is evidenced by various statutes. (27) Research suggests that "the largest gains are made when children receive intensive evidence-based services prior to turning five." (28) That time is crucial not only because of the substantial growth, but also because the therapy and education that an autistic child receives can shape the rest of his or her life. (29) Therefore, statutory requirements for educating disabled children can be invaluable. Parents work daily to advocate on behalf of their autistic children, and schools work alongside them to provide access to education pursuant to the requirements of the IDEA. The IDEA's guarantee of a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) gives parents comfort that their children will receive proper care when sent to school. (30)

II. PURPOSE AND BACKGROUND OF THE IDEA

Since 1975, with the passage of the Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA), (31) Congress has played a role in making sure that disabled children have equal access to education. (32) Before this legislation, disabled children were often sent away from schools and spent their lives in institutions. (33) Now, these children are given the opportunity to enhance their lives through proper education. The EHA has been amended to expand protection of the rights of the disabled, and it is now known as the IDEA. The IDEA protects children with disabilities, a definition that encompasses a wide array of conditions. (34) The children who may seek relief from this statute are those "with mental retardation, hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance ..., orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, or specific learn disabilities." (35) However, each disability affects individual children differently, so the language of the IDEA must be broad enough to effectively aid each of these children.

A. Basic Guarantees of the IDEA

To ensure that all disabled children are provided with the education they need and deserve, the IDEA provides that disabled students have the right to a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) in the least-restricted environment. (36) The IDEA defines FAPE as special education and related services that--(A) have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge; (B) meet the standards of the State educational agency; (C) include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education in the State involved; and (D) are provided in conformity with the individualized education program required under section 1414(d) of this title. (37)

The guarantees of a FAPE are not the best education possible for each disabled child. (38) In Board of Education v. Rowley, Justice Rehnquist stated that the purpose of "the Act was more to open the door of public education to handicapped children on appropriate terms than to guarantee any particular level of education once inside." (39) Therefore, the language of the statute does not require the school to maximize the disabled student's educational needs. (40)

Instead, the IDEA provides an avenue for each disabled child to receive proper attention in the form of an individualized education program (IEP). (41) The IEP team composed of the parent, a teacher, a special education teacher, a representative from the relevant state agency, and anyone else who may have special knowledge of the child or may be helpful in interpreting his needs develops the plan specifically for the child with special needs. (42) An IEP determines the needs of the student and sets goals for the student, teachers, and parents involved in the education of the child. (43) The plan is goal-oriented and addresses the child's strengths, parental concerns about enhancing the child's education, results of the previous IEP evaluation, and the child's "academic, developmental, and functional needs." (44) Because it is impossible to anticipate all problems a disabled child may face, an IEP provides safeguards through which the child and parents can achieve a FAPE. Honig v. Doe requires the school to obtain permission from the parents before altering the provisions of the child's IEP. (45) When disagreements arise, the IDEA provides for disputes to be handled through mediation. (46) If that fails or the parents refuse to mediate, the parties may enter an administrative appeals process. (47)

B. The Value of an IEP for an Autistic Child

Because each ASD child's needs are distinct, the respective IEPs provide a procedure that allows parents and teachers to work together to tailor the education of the individual student. Including the parent in the process gives the parent the peace of mind that the ASD child is receiving the attention needed outside the home. Some parents may be nervous to send their special needs children to a public school. Each autistic child has unique characteristics, and a change in routine could trigger a negative reaction. Parents often grasp what affects their children, and leaving them in the hands of other adults may be difficult. The IEP team affords teachers an opportunity to learn about the particularities of each child, a learning process that may enhance the student-teacher relationship in the classroom. (48)

IEPs protect ASD children, their parents, and their teachers throughout the children's times in schools, and are also helpful by providing the parents and teachers with guidelines to educate children with special needs. (49) Although the school may not guarantee the best programs, it is obligated to maintain the promises of the IEP, regardless of the school's extenuating circumstances. (50)

The guarantee of a FAPE increases the number of ASD students in general education classrooms. (51) During the 2002-2003 school year, nearly a quarter of autistic children were included in general education settings for 79% of their school day. (52) Over the years, Congress has reinforced and amended the IDEA to expand the rights of these children by recognizing that a need "in no way diminishes the right of individuals to participate in or contribute to society." (53) In fact, schools must make an effort under the IDEA to "mainstream" children covered by the statute into the general education classroom. (54) Mainstreaming has its advantages and disadvantages, and schools try to strike a balance between the right of disabled students to have access to general education classrooms and the right of other students to learn free from interference.

C. Consequences of Mainstreaming: Meltdowns in the Classroom

Mainstreaming autistic children increases the chance of an autistic meltdown. A meltdown is similar to a traditional temper tantrum, but the autistic child is not always trying to get her way. Instead, these episodes occur when an autistic child's senses are overloaded. (55) Stress, loud noises, bright lights, or even a change in routine can trigger an escalation, and confrontation with unknown people may only worsen the situation. (56) During a meltdown, an autistic child may not be able to control his or her own reaction and may not know why he or she is screaming. (57) As children age and mature, these episodes may become more violent, as the autistic may not know their own strength. While exposure to general education classrooms is healthy for the maturation of autistic children and their classmates, a meltdown is particularly challenging in that setting. (58) The presence of classmates may overwhelm the autistic student during the meltdown, and the tantrum may frighten the classmates and ultimately affect their relationships with the autistic child. (59)

III. MELTDOWNS AND LEARNING HOW TO RESPOND

A. IDEA's Limited Influence on Discipline

Under the IDEA, behavioral issues are typically covered by the student's IEP. (60) Just as each child may act out in different situations, the methods for the teacher to gain control of the situation are also different. When a meltdown or tantrum occurs in the classroom, the teacher must follow the guidelines set out in the autistic child's IEP instead of immediately resorting to regular disciplinary measures. (61)

Even if a pattern of meltdown behavior develops, the IDEA sets out procedures for handling disciplinary problems and prevents teachers from suspending or expelling disabled students too quickly because of their misbehavior. (62) These protections exist in the "stay-put" provision and in the provision of a "manifestation determination" hearing. (63) It is evident that the policy behind these provisions is to keep the child in the general education classroom while a proper plan is developed. (64)

The stay-put provision requires the school to allow the child to "remain in the then- current educational placement" (65) during any administrative and disciplinary hearings or proceedings. (66) Courts have interpreted the IDEA to require a disabled student to be allowed to stay in the general education classroom until the school exhausts all administrative remedies. (67)

In addition to the stay-put provision, the IDEA offers protection for disabled students whose behavioral problems stem from their disabilities in the form of a manifestation determination hearing.(68) If the ASD child violates the code of student conduct and a change in placement is recommended, the local educational agency, the parent, and members of the IEP team should meet to determine if the conduct was a "manifestation" of the disorder. (69) Review protects students who cannot control their misbehavior and need more than expulsion to fix continuing problems. If the student acted out as a result of his ASD, any deviation from his personalized IEP in remedying that misbehavior can be found to violate the IDEA. (70)

The inclusion of the stay-put provision and the manifestation determination suggests that Congress wants schools to work with disabled children to provide them with equal opportunities. (71) Children with autism benefit from these provisions when their repeated behavioral problems become a distraction in the classroom. However, an autistic meltdown requires a different type of response in the heat of the moment, and the IDEA fails to provide guidance. Unfortunately, the IDEA addresses these steps only in the form of an IEP, where the parents and school must recognize the child's need for disciplinary structure before problems occur. There are no statutory guidelines directing teachers how to handle unforeseen, spontaneous behavioral problem.

B. The Need for Educated Public Officials

While an ASD child experiences a meltdown, a teacher may exhaust all methods established in that student's IEP and still be unable to control the student in a humane manner. Recently, there have been reports nationwide of teachers relying on police authorities to handle the situation. In these specific reports, police officers resorted to a stun gun, a device that uses an electric current to temporarily impair the victim's ability to control his muscles. (72) This weapon effectively controls the individual, but could also be dangerous to the health of ASD students, many of whom are more prone to epilepsy. (73) Other students have been physically injured when teachers restrained and secluded them in order to gain control of a situation. (74)

For instance, at a middle school in Los Angeles, California, a twelve-year-old autistic boy was "tasered" after running, kicking, and spitting to avoid standing in line with other students. (75) The aide who asked him to stand in line was unaware that the boy became uncomfortable when too close to other people. (76) Both the police and the boy's older sister were called to help calm him down, but a police officer would not allow the sister near her brother. (77) Instead, the boy was hit with a stun gun, physically restrained, and taken to the psychiatric ward of the UCLA Medical Center. (78)

Police officers and other public officials also encounter autistic children in public. Incidents have motivated public agencies to obtain training in helping the mentally disabled. (79) On May 21, 2010 in Tybee Island, Georgia, Clifford Grevemberg was arrested for disorderly conduct after waiting outside of a restaurant for his brother. (80) At the time, Grevemberg was an eighteen-year-old autistic man with a heart condition. (81) According to the facts alleged in his complaint, Grevemberg was approached by police officers but gave them no reason to assault or use a stun gun, both of which they ultimately did. (82) The officers said they believed he was intoxicated and were surprised when they were informed of his condition. (83) These situations lead to lawsuits and cause a strain on the injured individuals and their families. (84)

Although each child is different and each meltdown may require a different approach from teachers, a federal regulation or statutory requirement may be beneficial to states when drafting their own laws. Practically speaking, teachers and police officers should have limitations on their power to discipline. There needs to be a line which educators and disciplinarians cannot cross when disciplining a child with an ASD. Stun guns and other harmful disciplinary methods should not be used so frequently. While teachers should follow the IEP in determining how to discipline a particular child, it is entirely possible that a behavioral issue was overlooked while building the child's IEP. (85) Even though a child's tendency to have a meltdown should be addressed as a "functional need" for purposes of the IEP, (86) meltdowns are not always predictable and the teacher may lack proper guidance.

These meltdowns can be frightening for a teacher trying to regain control of a classroom. In the heat of the moment, it is difficult to predict what an unprepared teacher would do in a situation. If the student is throwing chairs or desks, a teacher may send him to timeout or the principal's office. However, these violent tendencies may escalate if the child is not calmed down. She is likely scared and confused, and certain actions from the teacher and nearby classmates may intensify the situation. If the student becomes upset because he had to share a toy with another student, a teacher's reaction may be to comfort the child. However, not all autistic individuals react well to human contact, and a sensory overload could trigger a meltdown. (87) Ideally, the IEP would prepare the teacher for such a response. (88) If the IEP fails to cover the given situation, the teacher may need another source upon which to rely.

Because more autistic individuals are moving into general education classrooms and subsequently entering the workforce, it is natural for the number of public meltdowns to increase. (89) Teachers also need additional resources to understand their role in calming ASD children.

IV. INCORPORATING A SOLUTION INTO THE IDEA

A. What IDEA Can Learn from States

The Supreme Court interpreted the IDEA to give the states authority over education for disabled children. (90) Although a state can provide more services than what is required by the Act, Congress applies a minimum standard for a "fair and appropriate public education" in the least-restrictive environment. (91) That FAPE requirement should be expanded to provide disabled children with general education teachers prepared to handle autistic meltdowns and other similar situations.

Many states have identified that the services provided by state and local agencies are insufficient to help the growing number of students diagnosed with autism each year. (92) In fact, Alabama organized a task force to determine how it could meet the needs of autistic individuals. (93) Because Alabama is behind the national average in identifying and diagnosing children with autism, it must not only focus its attention on training more individuals who can diagnose an ASD, but also build its early intervention program. (94) The Alabama Autism Task Force proposes that more individuals be trained in multiple professional areas in order to "work with this population" by joining forces with state universities. (95)

Part of the Alabama Autism Task Force's recommendation is based on providing a training symposium by Dennis Debbaudt, a father whose son's autism has driven him to promote autism awareness in communities around the country. (96) Debbaudt realized the need when he was carrying his autistic son out of a store while he was having a meltdown, and police thought he was abducting the child. (97) Debbaudt's books have been used to train public officials throughout the country by addressing their methods of response and educating them on the typical thought processes of autistic individuals. (98) He also travels and provides specific training workshops for law enforcement and emergency medical services. (99) Nationwide, groups are promoting autism awareness among law enforcement officers and teaching them how to approach situations involving autistic individuals. (100) Parents with autistic children seem to be the most active, and they realize that awareness of the disability is often not enough; people in particular positions may need more expertise. (101)

Other states also have taken active steps to educate their public officers. (102) The Autism Society in Maine provides pamphlets for prosecutors, police officers, and other individuals working in law enforcement. (103) In addition to the pamphlets, the organization has a website that provides a guideline to follow and important things to remember when approaching an individual with autism. (104) Other communities have addressed the issue by attaching a certain code to homes with autistic individuals. For example, 911 dispatchers in Florida use a "Code 20" to alert first responders that one of the individuals needing help may have autistic tendencies. (105) Dispatchers in Detroit use a "Code Mental." (106) Other states simply put the burden on the family members to notify the 911 dispatchers that someone in their household has an ASD.

B. Suggestions for the IDEA

Creating detailed, statutory guidelines for how to handle disciplinary outbursts in the classroom may be ineffective because of their specificity. However, a provision requiring general education teachers to be certified in autism care may achieve a similar goal. A parallel can be drawn between the type of training a teacher trying to calm down a tantrum would need and the type of training a police officer would need. Because an autistic student having a meltdown may react negatively to a typical authoritative response, both police officers and teachers need to be aware of how to adjust their behavior and avoid further escalation of the situation.

Even if the IDEA required states to provide autism training workshops for teachers, the states would still have the freedom to choose the manner and type of training provided. Whether the trainings would be a requirement for teachers or a continuing education workshop, they could be based on the workshops that emergency first responders provide.

Some school systems may argue that such training is unnecessary because they do not have any diagnosed autism students in their schools. However, the training workshop could increase the number of teachers with the ability to reliably diagnose those with autistic disorders. Also, the training could be helpful for the teachers' interactions with students with other, non-ASD disabilities.

V. CONCLUSION

As the prevalence of autism has increased over the past decade, so has the frequency of social interaction with these children. (107) Behavioral therapies have increased the ability of autistic individuals to function in social settings, and legislation and other efforts have integrated autistic children into the general education classroom. As the spectrum continues to expand its reach, more children will be entitled to protection under special education law. While the IDEA provides autistic children with an individualized education plan and a free appropriate public education, it also fails to address important issues. One issue stems from an autistic individual's tendency to have a meltdown. While these episodes can be frightening to teachers and students alike, they can be much more terrifying to the autistic student having the meltdown. If a meltdown gets out of hand and law enforcement is called, the situation may be handled in a counterproductive manner, one that could ultimately be detrimental to the child's health and wellbeing. States throughout the country are taking steps to educate public officials on better ways to approach autistic individuals, but that may not be enough to address the disciplinary problems in the schools. Instead, the IDEA should require states to provide training or autism certification for all teachers in both general and special education settings.

(1.) 20 U.S.C. [section] 1400 (2005).

(2.) AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES MONITORING NETWORK, PREVALENCE OF THE AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS (ASDS) IN MULTIPLE AREAS OF THE UNITED STATES, 2004 AND 2006 1 (2009) [hereinafter COMMUNITY REPORT].

(3.) Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Diagnostic Criteria, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, http://cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/hcp-dsm.html (last updated Aug. 17, 2009).

(4.) See, e.g., Elizabeth Hervey Osborn, What Happened to "Paul's Law"?: Insights on Advocating for Better Training and Better Outcomes in Encounters Between Law Enforcement and Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders, 79 U. COLO. L. REV. 333 (2008).

(5.) CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL, Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders-Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, United States, 2006, SURVEILLANCE SUMMARIES, at 1 (Dec. 18, 2009), available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdffss/ss5810.pdf [hereinafter Prevalence of Autism].

(6.) COMMUNITY REPORT, supra note 1 (citing Leo Kanner, Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact, 2 NERVOUS CHILD 217 (1943)).

(7.) Prevalence of Autism, supra note 5 (citing M. Rutter, Incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Changes Over Time and Their Meaning, 94 ACTA PAEDIATRICA 2 (2005)).

(8.) COMMUNITY REPORT, supra note 1.

(9.) Prevalence of Autism, supra note 5.

(10.) Vito Loiacono & Valerie Valenti, General Education Teachers Need to be Prepared to CoTeach the Increasing Number of Children with Autism in Inclusive Settings, 25 INT'L J. SPEC. EDU., no. 3, 2010 at 24 (2010).

(11.) See generally Morton Ann Gernsbacher, Michelle Dawson, & H. Hill Goldsmith, Three Reasons Not to Believe in an Autism Epidemic, 14 AM. PSYCHOL. SOC'Y 55, 55 (2005), available at http://www.autcom.org/pdf/Epidemic.pdf.

(12.) Prevalence of Autism, supra note 5.

(13.) COMMUNITY REPORT, supra note 1, at 4.

(14.) Id.

(15.) Id.

(16.) Sensory Sensitivity and Autism, RESEARCH AUTISM, http://www.researchautism.net/autismissues_problems_symptoms_signs_ characteristics_diagnosis_item.ikml?ra=48&t=3 (last updated Mar. 9, 2011).

(17.) COMMUNITY REPORT, supra note 1, at 5.

(18.) See id. at 5. See also, AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION, "Autistic Disorder" DIAGNOSTIC & STATISTICAL MANUAL (4th ed.) (1999), available at http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=94#.

(19.) See id.

(20.) See id.

(21.) See id.

(22.) See generally Sera Rivers, APA Proposes Changes to Autism Spectrum Disorders, WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS EXAMINER, Feb. 12, 2010, available at http://www.examiner.com/x-15632-Western-Massachusetts-Special-Needs- KidsExaminer~y2010m2dl2-APA-proposes-changes-to- Autism-Spectrum-Disorders (citing Autistic Disorder Proposed Revision, AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION, http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=94# (last revised Jan. 26, 2011)).

(23.) See The Autism Awareness Ribbon, AUTISM SOCIETY, available at http://www.autismsociety.org/site/PageServer?pagename=asa_ribbon.

(24.) See id.

(25.) See Mary Forgione, Healthcare Professional Discusses 'Parenthood's' Handling of Asperger's Syndrome, L.A. TIMES, Sept. 2l, 2010, available at http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/21/news/la-heb-aspergers-20100921; see also Kelly Brewington, NBC's 'Parenthood' Offers Look into Life with Asperger's, BALT. SUN, Sept. 21, 2010, available at http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/health/2010/09/nbcs_arenthood_offers_look in 1.html.

(26.) ALABAMA AUTISM TASK FORCE, FINAL REPORT TO THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE 10 (2009), available at http:// www.autism.alabama.gov/Documents/Autism_Task_Force_Final_Report.pdf.

(27.) See Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. [section] 1400 (2005) [hereinafter, IDEA]; No Child Left Behind Act, Pub. L. No. 107-110, 115 Stat. 1425 (2002).

(28.) ALABAMA AUTISM TASK FORCE, supra note 26, at 10.

(29.) See id. at 10-12.

(30.) IDEA [section] 1401(9).

(31.) Pub. L. No. 94-142 (1975).

(32.) See IDEA [section] 1400(c)(2); Lauren Zykorie, Reauthorizing Discipline for the Disabled Student: Will Congress Create a Better Balance in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)?, 3 CONN. PUB. INT. L. J. 101, 101-02 (2003).

(33.) See Randy Chapman, The Discipline Process for Students with Disabilities Under the IDEA, 36 COLO. LAW. 63, 63 (2007).

(34.) IDEA [section] 1401(3)(A).

(35.) Id.

(36.) Id.

(37.) IDEA [section] 1401(9) (2008).

(38.) Bd. of Educ. of Hendrick Hudson Cent. Sch. Dist., Westchester Cty. v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176, 192 (1982) (holding that deaf student was not guaranteed a sign language interpreter because she was performing better than the average student and had no trouble progressing from grade to grade).

(39.) Id. at 192 This conclusion based on congressional findings that before the EHA, handicapped students often sat in the classroom and received no education until they were old enough to drop out of school. Id.

(40.) Id.

(41.) IDEA [section] 1414(d)(1)(A).

(42.) IDEA [section] 1414(d)(1)(B).

(43.) Id.

(44.) Id. [section] 1414(d)(3)(A)(IV).

(45.) Honig v. Doe, 484 U. S. 305 (1988).

(46.) IDEA [section] 1415(e).

(47.) IDEA [section] 1415(0; see Anne E. Johnson, Evening the Playing Field: Tailoring the Allocation of the Burden of Proof at IDEA Due Process Hearings to Balance Children's Rights and Schools' Needs, 46 B.C.L. REV. 591 (2005) (analyzing which party should have the burden of proof, as it is not specified in the statute).

(48.) IDEA [section] 1414(d)(1)(A).

(49.) Id.

(50.) Id.

(51.) Loiacono & Valenti, supra note 10, at 24 (citing Office of Special Education Programs, 26th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, U. S. DEPT. OF EDUC. 1 (2005)).

(52.) Id. at 25.

(53.) IDEA [section] 1400(c)(1).

(54.) Omyra M. Ramsingh, Disciplining Children with Disabilities Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 12 J. CONTEMP. HEALTH L. & POL'Y 155, 155-56 (1995) (citing 20 U.S.C. [section] 1412(5)(B) (2005)).

(55.) See generally COMMUNITY REPORT, supra note 1.

(56.) Id.

(57.) DENNIS DEBBAUDT, AUTISM, ADVOCATES, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT PROFESSIONALS: RECOGNIZING AND REDUCING RISK SITUATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS 91 (2002).

(58.) See generally, Osborn, supra note 4.

(59.) Id. at 343.

(60.) See IDEA [section] 1414(d)(1)(A); Chapman, supra note 34.

(61.) Chapman, supra note 32, at 63.

(62.) Id.

(63.) IDEA [section] 14150) and [section] 1415(k).

(64.) IDEA [section] 1400(c)(1); see generally Ramsingh, supra note 55.

(65.) IDEA 14150).

(66.) 20 U.S.C. [section] 14150) (2005); see Ramsingh, supra note 55, at 157 (discussing stay-put provision in context of 20 U.S.C. [section] 1415(e)(3) (1988)).

(67.) School Bd. of the Cty. of Prince William, Va. v. Malone, 762 F.2d 1210 (4th Cir. 1985) (finding that a school that tried to discipline a fourteen-year-old student with learning disabilities was unable to remove him from the mainstream classroom until all administrative remedies provided by IDEA were exhausted). See generally Ramsingh, supra note 55.

(68.) IDEA [section] 1415 (k)(1)(E).

(69.) IDEA [section] 1415 (k)(1); Chapman, supra note 34, at 65.

(70.) IDEA [section] 1415 (k)(1).

(71.) IDEA [section] 1400(c)(1). See generally Ramsingh, supra note 55.

(72.) Janyce M. Sanford et al., Two Patients Subdued with a Taser[R] Device: Cases and Review of Complications, 40 J. EMERGENCY MED. 28 (2011).

(73.) Lidia Gabis, John Pomeroy & Mary R. Andriola, Autism and Epilepsy: Cause, Consequence, Comorbidity, or Coincidence?, 7 EPILEPSY & BEHAV. 652 (2005)

(74.) Alyssa Kaplan, Harm Without Recourse: The Need for a Private Right of Action in Federal Restraint and Seclusion Legislation, 32 CARDOZO L. REV. 581 (2010) (suggesting that the Keeping All Students Safe Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in December 2009 to prevent teachers from using "restraint and seclusion," is not enough to protect disabled students).

(75.) Denise Nix, Father of Autistic Boy Who Was Tasered Files Federal Lawsuit, DAILY BREEZE, Oct. 13, 2009, available at http://www.theautismnews.com/2009/10/13/father-of- austistic-boy-whowas-tasered-files-federal-lawsuit/.

(76.) Id.

(77.) Id.

(78.) Id.

(79.) DEBBAUDT, supra note 58, at 28-29.

(80.) Id.

(81.) Arek Arkissian, Autistic Man Tazed on Tybee, Family Says, SAVANNAH MORNING NEWS, May 23, 2010, available at http://savannalmow.com/crime/2010-05-23/autistic-man-tazed-tybeefamily- says.

(82.) Complaint, Grevemberg v. Tybee Island, No. STCV1002043 (Ga. filed 2010) available at http://www.thecoastalsource.com/media/lib/125/4/8/2/482938be-5eb7-42d1- 9377-d54e7e311112/GREVEMBERG LAWSUIT. pdf.

(83.) Arkissian, supra note 82.

(84.) Nix, supra note 76 (discussing the lawsuit filed by the victim's father in hopes that a class action suit will help other autistic children facing these circumstances); see also Denise Nix, Hawthorne OKs $300k Award to Tasered Autistic Teen, Daily Breeze, July 28, 2010, available at http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_1562443 (describing the out of court resolution of the matter).

(85.) See generally COMMUNITY REPORT, supra note 1.

(86.) See IDEA [section] 1414(d)(3)(A).

(87.) See generally COMMUNITY REPORT, supra note 1.

(88.) Id.

(89.) Claudia Kalb, Is Sitting While Autistic a Crime?, NEWSWEEK, July 8, 2010, available at http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/08/is-sitting-while-autistic_a_crime.html.

(90.) See Bd. of Educ. of Hendrick Hudson Cent. Sch. Dist., Westchester Cty. v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176, 207 (1982).

(91.) IDEA [section] 1412(a).

(92.) See ALABAMA AUTISM TASK FORCE, supra note 26; Facts for Prosecutors, AUTISM SOCIETY OF MAINE, http://asmonline.org/programs_law_prosecutors.asp (last visited Jul. 12, 2011); DEBBAUDT, supra note 58, at 23.

(93.) ALABAMA AUTISM TASK FORCE, supra note 26, at 25.

(94.) Id.

(95.) Id. at 26.

(96.) Alabama Department of Mental Health, First Responders & Autism: Training Symposium, http://www.autism.alabama.gov/Documents/First_Responders_Training_Flyer-pdf (last visited Jul. 12, 2011).

(97.) Id.

(98.) Id.

(99.) Id.

(100.) See ALABAMA AUTISM TASK FORCE, supra note 26; AUTISM SOCIETY OF MAINE, supra note 93; DEBBAUDT, supra note 58, at 23.

(101.) See generally DEBBAUDT, supra note 58.

(102.) See AUTISM SOCIETY OF MAINE, supra note 93; DEBBAUDT, supra note 57, at 23.

(103.) See AUTISM SOCIETY OF MAINE, supra note 93.

(104.) DEBBAUDT, supra note 58, at 23.

(105.) Id.

(106.) Id.

(107.) Loiacono & Valenti, supra note 10, at 24.
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Author:Loefgren, Elizabeth
Publication:Law and Psychology Review
Date:Jan 1, 2011
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