Victory: Federal Court Decision on Residential Placement

Cassady Law achieved a federal court victory requiring a school district to reimburse our clients for a therapeutic residential placement. This ruling will affect many students with profound mental health needs and other disabilities who need to be placed in residential treatment schools in order to receive a free appropriate public education in a therapeutic setting. Our firm prevailed in a due process hearing for our clients, and the school district appealed in federal court seeking to overturn the decision. While the school district argued that such a placement was solely for medical reasons, the judge found that just because a student could be capable of learning in general education without support if he had no disability, does not mean that the support given was solely medical. The judge also explained that the related services provision of the IDEA covers psychological services, social work, therapeutic recreation, counseling, and medication management. The student needed all of these services in a residential setting in order to address truancy and elopement, which directly impacted his learning.

Judge Lasnik wrote, “Having failed to provide an appropriate public education from which [the Student] could derive any educational benefit, the district is financially responsible for the appropriate residential placement the parents were forced to find on their own.”  Edmonds School District v. A.T., Western District of Washington C16-1500 RSL (November 7, 2017).

Nicholle Mineiro has joined Cassady Law Firm

I am excited to announce I have joined Charlotte Cassady at Cassady Law Firm. It is an honor to join a practice that has been fighting for the rights of students for almost two decades. You can find me at (206) 452-5665 x.3 or

Presenting at the Blueprints to the IDEA Workshop

I was honored to present at the Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy "Blueprints to the IDEA" special education law workshop.  This is a unique opportunity to hear from experienced special education attorneys about how to better advocate for your child. These workshops are offered several times a year, and I'll be presenting again in the fall. Topics included:

  • The Evaluation Process, the role of Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)
  • Eligibility: How is it determined? How old must a child be?  Must a child be identified as a certain category to receive services?
  • The IEP Meeting: What can I expect? What do all the sections mean? How is it authorized, what do I sign? My IEP is out of date, what steps can I take to modify it?
  • Is it One size Fits All? What program types and related services are available?
  • Understanding FAPE & the LRE
  • All about transition planning
  • What are the steps I can take to resolve disputes with the IEP
  • I am worried about seclusion and restraints, what are my child’s rights?