I Believe My Son Was Discriminated Against. Do I Have Legal Recourse?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

‘An after school program run by the public schools just notified me that my son would not be allowed after school care this year. The program administrator called my wife and said that after reviewing his IEP with someone from the state (which I did not authorize) they decided that they could not take care of him because he is autistic and they could no longer meet his needs. He attended the program the entire year last year and did not have a single report of any behavior or any other issues for that matter. I called a day later and without saying who I was asked if they were taking new students for the program. The same person who told my wife that our son was not welcome told me that they are definitely taking new students so I know that overcrowding is not the issue. It seems to me that they are discriminating against my son who is incredibly well behaved, just because he has autism. At this point I would not want them to be in charge of caring for my son, do I have any legal recourse?’

Question: Your best route at this point would be to call your city, county, or state advocate (or all three) and your state department of education, to talk with their ADA (Americans with Disability Act) coordinator, and also with their offices of Special Ed. Services, to find out how best to file a complaint that your local school is discriminating against your son. You should keep in mind that the decision by the administrator may have been out of ignorance and fear of liability, not out of malice, but that doesn’t change that the outcome was wrong.