Did He Really Do that? How to Use Behavior Data to Make Legal Arguments

Compendium of Materials, 2013

Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 9, 2013

San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 13-124

16 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2013

See all articles by Margaret Dalton

Margaret Dalton

University of San Diego School of Law

Matthew Lehman

Able Pathways

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Behavior is one of the most challenging areas of need when developing and managing programs and services for students under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Subjective input may be helpful, but it takes authentic, measurable data to truly understand a student’s behavior and make a strong legal argument for programs or services.

Identifying target behaviors, collecting reliable data, and using that data to better understand the student’s needs are all difficult tasks. Too often, the crucial first step of behavior assessment – gathering objective information to form an effective support or intervention plan – is overlooked in the rush to complete or change the Individualized Education Program. This presentation will answer some common questions about how to demonstrate that behavior is impeding learning, how to use correct terminology to identify behavior, what steps to take depending on whether behavior is less serious or more serious, and how to make a stronger legal argument for supports or services. This presentation also will share best practices on how to collect, analyze, and report data; technical language that has been successful at obtaining more and better measurable data to identify the behaviors initially, and then to show progress (or lack thereof); and legal strategies for requesting assessments.

Keywords: disabilities, special needs, IDEA, Individualized Education Program

Suggested Citation

Dalton, Margaret and Lehman, Matthew, Did He Really Do that? How to Use Behavior Data to Make Legal Arguments (2013). Compendium of Materials, 2013; Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 9, 2013; San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 13-124. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2281435

Margaret Dalton (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

Matthew Lehman

Able Pathways ( email )

Del Mar Plaza
830 E. Vista Way, Suite 108
Vista, CA 92084
United States

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