When Ben’s mom called DRNC, it seemed impossible to get him back in school, learning and making friends. Ben had just been placed on homebound by his school a second year in a row. He was middle school student with an IEP (Individualized Education Program), and his mom strongly objected to the placement. Students placed on homebound cannot come to school. Worse, they usually get less than 4 hours of instruction per week. The IEP team placed Ben on homebound because they said he wasn’t making progress due to his behaviors. He wasn’t paying attention in class. He wasn’t finishing assignments and he was not getting along with other students.

After reviewing Ben’s school records, DRNC’s education team decided to represent him. We attended IEP meetings with Ben’s mom, the school staff and the school attorney. We discussed Ben’s strengths and needs, and created a plan to get Ben back in school. This plan included requesting evaluations, and creating a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) for Ben. A BIP includes the things school staff will do to help the student avoid challenging behaviors, and to de-escalate when a behavior is triggered.

When the school began to take Ben’s needs into account, and followed the BIP, Ben began to make significant academic progress. He also made new friends. He felt included and was able to succeed in school for the first time since early elementary school. We continued to attend IEP meetings with Ben’s mom for the rest of the school year to make sure he stayed in school, kept making progress and that the team adjusted his plan and IEP as needed.

Learn more about homebound and modified day placements for students with behavioral challenges and/or mental health diagnoses.