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Saleema's Story

Saleema's Story

Saleema is a five-year-old child who has autism.  While attending preschool, the NYC Department of Education recommended that Saleema attend a full-day preschool program for children with autism and also receive 10 hours per week of a research-proven behavioral therapy at home after school.

When Saleema transitioned to kindergarten, a Department of Education representative, who had never met Saleema, eliminated Saleema’s behavioral therapy despite the unanimous recommendations of her service providers and evaluators that the therapy continue.

Saleema’s mother knew her daughter needed behavioral therapy to help her focus and make progress in school, but did not know how to get the services reinstated.  She contacted Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) for help.  AFC’s attorney filed an impartial hearing requesting that the Department of Education maintain Saleema’s behavioral therapy.  The hearing officer ordered the Department of Education to restore Saleema’s therapy.  Saleema’s mother is thrilled to be watching her daughter learn new skills in kindergarten with the help of her behavioral therapy.