Saturday, June 21, 2008

Boy who suffers from seizures and Autism has service dog refused by school

Clint Schroeder, like many kids, loves spending time outdoors, but a disability sets him apart.
Clint suffers from epileptic seizures and autism. Three years ago his doctor suggested he get a service dog.

His Lab, Chalet, is trained as a medic alert dog to give Clint warning when he’s about to have a seizure.

Clint’s mom, Sherry, says the Goddard School District Clint attends was supportive at first. But Sherry says once Clint got the dog, everything changed.

"It was all of the sudden a problem,” Sherry said.

According to Sherry, the school told her the Para that worked with Clint was allergic to dogs and that the teacher didn’t support a dog in her classroom.

"They told us we the parents had to provide a certified adult to attend school with him every day,” Sherry said.

Sherry hired an attorney and for the past two years she and the school have been trying to reach a compromise.

"We were hit with now we need scientific documents that she can detect seizures that she can calm him when he's having an outburst,” Sherry said. “It was never ending."

The next option for Clint’s family was filing a federal lawsuit. But that would cost an additional $15,000 to $20,000 and would likely take at least three years to get through the court system. By that time, Clint would be out of the Clark Davidson School.

"The school districts have a lot more money than the average parent has,” Sherry said. “They have deeper pockets they can keep this going, which is what they've done for two years."

Instead, they are selling their home to move to another school district. It was a tough decision for Sherry as her father designed her home --- her dream home.

"It's heartbreaking to have to move, but why stay here and fight for something we don't have to fight for there?” she said.

The Goddard School District says it cannot discuss the matter because it involves a confidential student issue.


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