The Philadelphia Project


Law Center Files Due Process Complaint for Student with Autism

J.C. is a 20-year-old student in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP). J.C. has been diagnosed with Autism, a speech/language disorder and a mild intellectual disability, all of which interfere with J.C.’s learning.

J.C.’s parents, supported by psychologists and neuropsychologists’ recommendations, requested that J.C. receive transitional planning to help develop employment and adult living skills for after graduation. Although the SDP psychologist suggested that outside agencies such as the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation be included in the creation of J.C.’s IEPs to best reach these goals, the SDP has not included any such agencies at J.C. IEP meetings. J.C.’s IEP does include some goals related to these skills, but that has not translated to increased proficiency in those areas. J.C.’s guardians have identified a program at a different SDP school that they believe would better serve J.C., but the SDP has not made the program available, even though it should be able to operate at every school. Additionally, the SDP has not conducted any age appropriate transition assessments over the past two school years.

The Law Center, on behalf of J.C. and J.C.’s guardians, filed a Due Process Complaint on June 23, 2014 contending that the SDP has failed to provide J.C. with a free appropriate public education. Amongst other failures, the SDP has failed to address many of J.C.’s educational needs in his IEPs, to conduct appropriate assessments and create transition plans, and to provide need-based speech, language and special education services.