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Laptop for Lashawn

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This item is for my client, Lashawn, and is part of the Advocates for Children/Robin Hood Foundation Holiday Wish List.

Lashawn, 20, first approached Advocates for Children, on his own initiative, in 2008. At the time Lashawn was enrolled in a District 75 school and was in the 10th grade. However, testing showed that he was only reading on a 1st grade level. He had been classified as Emotionally Disturbed without any basis in his testing or evaluations. Upon meeting and working with Lashwn it was clear that Emotionally Disturbed was an inappropriate classification and that Lashawn is mild-mannered, highly motivated, intelligent and driven. However, he had not been provided appropriate services and had struggled through inappropriate placements throughout his entire educational career. We filed a hearing request in 2009 which culminated in a hearing in January 2010. At the hearing the DOE representative conceded that Lashawn had not been provided appropriate services by the Department of Education. We reached an agreement with the DOE representative, embodied in an Hearing Order, which awarded Lashawn 24 weeks of one on one tutoring at Linda MoodBell (a private learning center) and compensatory education until age 23, among other things. Lashawn recently completed his 24 weeks of tutoring. He did incredibly well at Linda Moodbell, winning over the staff and his tutors with his warm personality, and improving his reading by nearly four grade levels in just 24 weeks. Despite the Hearing Order's mandate that at the close of tutoring Lashawn be provided appropriate services and an appropriate classification, the Department of Education's conduct is consistent with its treatment of Lashawn in the past. They want him to attend the same inappropriate program that he was in before the hearing request was filed and are dragging their feet on working with Lashawn's attorneys to find an appropriate placement for him. Despite such obstacles, Lashawn remains motivated and eager to learn. He is excited about his improved reading skills and wants to continue to improve. His goal is to go to college. A laptop computer would allow Lashawn to use computer programs designed to assist with his reading comprehension including multi-sensory programs which have not been made available to him by the Department of Education. We continue to advocate on Lashawn's behalf.



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