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ISSUES

The issues to be decided in this matter are the following:

1.

Is the IEP dated May 4, 2010 to March 18, 2011 reasonably calculated to provide Ryan with a FAPE in the least restrictive environment?

2.

If not, can the IEP be modified to provide Ryan with a FAPE in the least restrictive environment?

3.

If not, is the Landmark program appropriate?

FACTS

Ryan is entering the 8th grade at the Andrews Middle School in Medford.  He resides with his parents and older sister in Medford.  Ryan loves sports and actively participates in lacrosse, soccer, basketball and skiing.  Ryan makes friends easily and cares about his classmates.  Ryan also plays the guitar and drums and enjoys acting in plays.  (Exhibits S-6 and P-2 and testimony of Ryan’s mother and father)

Ryan has average cognitive abilities.  He has strengths in nonverbal reasoning and problem solving, and creative and imaginative thinking.  Ryan also exhibits strengths in his ability to relate to others.  Ryan’s weaknesses are in the areas of language and executive functions.  Ryan exhibits significant language deficits in higher order meta-linguistic skills, phonological processing, syntax and semantics or word knowledge.  He also manifests considerable weaknesses in written language expression. (Exhibits P-4, 5, 6 and 7 and S-7, 8, 10, 12 and 13 and testimony of Timmel)

In addition to his academic difficulties, Ryan suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome.  The tics caused by the Tourette’s Syndrome are fairly well controlled with medication.  Ryan, however, is affected by other behavioral and cognitive symptoms of the Tourette’s Syndrome.  These symptoms include poor impulse control, hyperactivity, oppositional behavior and low self-esteem. (Exhibit P-6 and testimony of Trainor)

Ryan is being followed at MGH by Dr. Geller as a result of his Tourette’s Syndrome.  Dr. Geller referred Ryan to Dr. Castelo for a neuropsychological evaluation after Ryan’s mother expressed her concerns with Ryan’s impulsivity, his low self-esteem and his academic struggles, particularly in writing, vocabulary and reading.  (Exhibit P-6 and testimony of Ryan’s mother)

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