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Risks and costs of a treatment litigation: Focus on the family

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Decision-making in special educational settings is always based on an implicit process of assessing risks, costs, and benefits of proposed alternative program options. We urge decision-makers to make the process explicit. The hidden costs of IEP decisions are discussed in the context of the question of using aversive procedures to treat severe destructive behavior. Some agency decisions result in significant cost transfer to or generation of risks and costs for families. The experiences of one family involved in a due process proceeding with a school system are examined for evidence of burdensome psychological, social and financial consequences.

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Correspondence to James A. Mulick Ph.D..

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Meinhold, P.M., Mulick, J.A. & Teodoro, J.M. Risks and costs of a treatment litigation: Focus on the family. J Child Fam Stud 3, 389–401 (1994).

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Key Words

  • decision analysis
  • cost
  • IEP
  • due process
  • destructive behavior