Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) there are protections in place regarding discipline and the disabled child. These protections prevent school officials from using discipline to limit or block a disabled students education. Behavioral incidents that are not related to the disability are actions that will involve the same discipline that is required by school policy. If the behavior is directly related to the disability of a student there are specific procedures that must be followed.
A child with a disability cannot be suspended from school for more than ten days because it would be considered a change in placement under the Individualized Education Program (IEP) developed for the child. Prior to recommending a change in placement of a disabled student due to behavior issues, the IEP team must meet and determine if the infraction is related to the disability. Behavioral issues related to drugs or weapons can initiate a placement into an alternative school by the school authorities. Disruptive behavior which is a direct result of a students disability must be addressed by a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) which outlines the behavioral issues related to the disability. The BIP will outline how the behavioral problems will be addressed.
Disability related behavior problems can be disruptive to the classroom setting. Autistic children may disrupt with repetitive movement and those who have tourettes syndrom may make continuous sounds. Children with Attention Deficiet Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) will be unable to concentrate for long periods of time and may disrupt the class with outbursts. These behaviors are related to the disability and are not comparable to similar actions by non-disabled students. Support and partnership of parents and teachers are necessary for success. By remaining committed to the IEP developed for the student, the issues related to disability triggered behavior problems can be conquered.