Schools grapple with degree to which they're responsible for social, as well as academic, skills
By Sara B. Miller | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor, August 24, 2004
She was a bright 9-year-old with a high IQ and a flair for creative writing. When she grew anxious and refused to do homework, her parents and school were at a loss. No one considered it a learning disability, until sixth grade when she tried to commit suicide. She was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a neurological disorder that can interfere with basic social skills.
Still, looking at her academic record, officials in her Maine school district said that while she needed extra support, they saw no reason to place the girl - known as L.I. in court documents - in special education. After all, she'd been able to learn despite her difficulties.
But her parents disagreed with the decision, and have filed a civil rights suit in federal court in Maine.