N.P.’s Story: Giving a Learning Disabled Student the Tools to Work Up to His High Potential

N.P.’s Story: Giving a Learning Disabled Student the Tools to Work Up to His High Potential

N.P. is a student with a learning disability whose mother sought help after years of having his needs go unaddressed by the New York City Department of Education (DOE).

When N.P. and his mother came to PFCR, he was entering the sixth grade and had been receiving special education services in DOE public schools for five years. N.P.’s evaluations showed that he had a unique educational profile marked by multiple learning disabilities but also a high level of understanding and the potential to do grade-level work. Yet notwithstanding his average intellectual potential, N.P. was functioning on only about a second-grade level academically.

N.P. had fallen further and further behind with each year he was in public school. Recently he had even shown signs of academic regression─losing academic skills he had already obtained. Teachers wrote reports explaining that N.P.’s needs were not being met in his DOE special education program. Despite this, and knowing that N.P. was not making any progress academically, the DOE kept advancing him from grade to grade in the same inappropriate special education program.

Due to his strong internal resolve, N.P. remained a hardworking and motivated student throughout this time, even as the DOE failed him. PFCR sought to capitalize on N.P.’s strengths and finally give him the opportunity to achieve his high potential. PFCR worked with N.P. and his mother to identify a New York State-approved nonpublic school that could meet N.P.’s unique needs, addressing his learning disabilities while also keeping him appropriately on grade level.

Through the impartial hearing process, PFCR successfully advocated for N.P. to be placed in this nonpublic school program and secured compensatory tutoring services to make up for the prior years when the DOE denied him an appropriate education. Through the support of the nonpublic school and the after-school compensatory tutoring services, N.P. made great strides during middle school and caught up on much of the academic ground he had lost. By the time he entered high school, N.P. was ready to be placed in Regents-level classes designed to lead to a regular New York State high school diploma. N.P. was now a confident learner, and he decided to give back for all he had received by volunteering his time as a counselor for first- and third-grade students. His mother reports that N.P. believes in all of his young students, just the way PFCR believed in him.

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