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BOOK: 17 
MONTH-YEAR: April - 1999
IN RE: In re Malinda J.
APPELLANT: Michael & Arlys J.
APPELLEE: Ankeny Community School & AEA 11
KEYWORDS: Special Education
DETAILS: Malinda J. is a five-year-old child with a severe hearing loss. Appellants believe that Malinda is not being served in the least restrictive environment; that the school failed to provide needed sign language classes for the parents; that Malinda is being deprived of a FAPE; that there are numerous flaws in her IEP including specific, objective and measurable goals tied to developmental milestones in expressive and receptive language.
  At the core of this case is the notion of whether the paricular sign language system needed by Malinda constitutes an essential part of her FAPE and constitutes a failure to provide such if the school uses an incompatible system to that used at home. It seemed appropriate that the Ankeny Schools and/or Heartland AEA bear the responsibility in relation to the cost of the classes.
  It appeared that Malinda was provided the assistive technology required in order for her to receive FAPE. Both the procedural and substantive components of the IEP process and product were followed in this case and the District and AEA prevailed on that issue.
  On the issue of providing sign language classes for the parents, the parents prevailed. They were also reimbursed for the cost of the classes. Such classes enable Malindas parents to continue their active role in assisting in the achievement of Malindas IEP goals.
  On the issue of lease restrictive environment, the District and the AEA prevailed.The decision regarding the setting for services for Malidna was determined based on a strong data base of professional opinion and the specifid individuals needs described for Malinda on the basis of evaluation inform from AEA staff.  An array of options were considered for Malinda and the conclusion she required the programs and services offered at Lucas School were based on her needs.