Expert Name: Karen Chung
Expert Title: Founder and CEO
Company Name:  Special Learning, Inc.
Company URL: www.special-learning.com
Short Bio: Karen is the CEO and Founder of Special Learning.

Selected Scenarios for Ethics in Schools Q&A with Dr. Jon Bailey

  • A male, kindergarten student is placed in a Significant Supports and Needs classroom.  He is verbal, sociable, and has tested out of the VB-MAPP.  His district has determined that he does not qualify for the Communication and Social program for students with autism.  In addition, he is in SSN for 40-79% of the day.  His parents have asked for further evaluation and were told that the autism coordinator or the district makes the determination.  At his last IEP, his parents did not sign because they did not agree with the school's determination for services.  The school has said that if the parents do not agree with their placement, they can go to another school district.  Transportation would not be provided if they move to another district, which would not possible for this family.  During his IEP, I attended as the student's BCBA, I asked if the school could conduct an FBA in the general education classroom to identify barrier behaviors to his learning.  I was told that the school has a plan and that they use the STAR autism program, and that an FBA is not necessary.  

 

  • A female, 5-grade student has been given work that is at the kindergarten level.  The student demonstrates high rates of problem behaviors that include rolling on the floor, masturbating in public, and self-injurious head-banging.  The function is escape and attention for the behaviors.  School has reported that if the student demonstrates any of these behaviors, they immediately remove all demands and provide access to the swing to "calm down".  At home and at the clinic, we have demonstrated that continuing with Escape Extinction procedures have been highly effective.  In addition, a self-monitoring program has been implemented.  School has said that these strategies are too complicated and last too long to implement in school.  

 

  • I recently moved to a Nevada that has very different procedures than California. Here the parents do not have to sign the IEP and the team is required to move forward with services regardless (in CA they would be in stay put! Not here!!!) So, I am currently on all these teams where these advocates insist on FBAs and BIPs (some for even behaviors that aren't even an issue or even lack of behaviors which I also find concerning-another dilemma), once they are done the advocates continue to tell the parents not to sign the IEP (I don't know why) but then are holding the team accountable for services. And if we don't provide services we are out of compliance. This presents as an ethical dilemma to me because our ethics states we need written permission to move forward with a behavior change program. Special Services directors tell me that the IEP doc itself is a binding contract and permission and that when they signed permission to assess they are signing for the intervention services too..... thoughts?