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Disability Manifestation Determination

If a child with disability commits an offense that violates the school code of conduct, which can result in an exclusion for longer than 10 school days, the IEP team must conduct a disability manifestation determination within 10 days of removal. The manifestation determination meeting is held with the parent and relevant members of the IEP team. The team reviews all relevant information in the child's file, the IEP, teacher's observations, and any relevant information from the parent and the child.

The IEP team must determine if the behavior was a manifestation
of this child's disability and the conduct was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child's disability.

Read more about this in the article

Know Your Rights: Disability Manifestation Determination for Your Child

Symptoms of many neurologically-based disabilities are very frequently misinterpreted as purposeful misbehavior. And sometimes, it is the lack of necessary support in the child's IEP that actually precipitates the behavior. In such cases parents of internationally adopted children may need to have an advocate on their side to help find the right solution for the problem and resolve the situation in the best interests of the child.

Dr. Gindis has an extensive background in Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) in school environment and experience with such methodologies as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Behavior Modification Programming (BMP).

Conducting disability manifestation determination for your child, Dr. Gindis will:
  • Examine the records of the child's behavior over the period of current IEP in order to see if similar behaviors occurred in the past with particular eye on the type of behavior that caused the referral.
  • Collect information from the school staff about the child's school performance to identify the extent, to which the problem behaviors are typical for the child.
  • Collect information from parents on behavior concerns at home.
  • Review the child's current IEP and placement for appropriateness.
  • Review options available at school for children with similar cognitive, emotional, and behavior status.
  • Conduct Functional Behavior Assessment and develop a Positive Behavior Support plan, unless that has already been done.
  • If a Positive Behavior Support plan has been already implemented, review and modify it as necessary.
  • If the child has to be transferred to another setting, Dr. Gindis will analyze the appropriateness of the proposed Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES): how the proposed IAES matches the child's psycho-educational and emotional profiles and educational disability.

If no Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) was conducted by the district prior to change of placement,
Dr. Gindis will perform FBA that will include:

  • Define the child's behavior in specific, concrete terms, label it according to its seriousness (destructive, disruptive, distracting), and prioritize behaviors to address.
  • Collect data to answer key questions regarding when the behavior is most and least likely to occur. These data will normally include: who was present during the last episode, what was going on at the time, when, where, how often, and how long such episodes may continue.
  • Observe and record antecedents, behaviors, and consequences of behavior in question.
  • Develop a hypothesis about the purpose or function, served by the behavior (attention seeking, escape/avoidance, obtaining something, self-regulation, play, etc.)
  • Develop a plan for the school staff, which addresses prevention of such episodes and/or instructs on how to react appropriately if these episodes happen.


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