Owen wins!!! 

This afternoon we received the judge’s decision. It was great news as she ruled in our favor on all counts.

In short, she ruled that Owen was denied a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) by the Orange County School District here in NC and that the private placement that we provided, including the private special education services, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy were appropriate. And as such that we are entitled to reimbursement for providing that which the schools denied Owen.

As for what this all means for Owen. Well, since we provided him with the education that he needed this past year, it means that he is right where he should be, that he made progress all year long and that he is doing wonderfully. What it means for us is that we should be getting some relief in the way of compensation for the expenses we have incurred, including the expenses of the trial (but this decision has to come from a federal judge and it is not clear yet of that ruling). And hopefully, for others, this means that they won’t have to endure the hell that we have gone through over the past year and that children like Owen will be given the services that they need and deserve (by law) to succeed and progress.

This is not yet completely over as the school’s can still appeal the decision (they have 30 days) and there is some clarification needed on some of the expenses that can be reimbursed, etc. But today is a huge victory for all of us who have been involved in this case.

AND of course, we have to then meet with the school’s personnel to discuss Owen’s IEP for the upcoming year, etc. Hopefully this time it will be a more transparent process and a whole lot more fair…we shall see. But for some reason, though, I think we may have some leverage.

I’ve uploaded the entire Final Decision, which is 40+ pages if any one cares to read it — I promise it’s a GREAT read!!!