When Dylan's mother attempted to enroll him in a Head Start Program (a program providing comprehensive early childhood education to low-income children) at her local school district, she was told that Dylan would not be allowed on campus. Dylan, six years old, has "short gut syndrome" and requires a central venous line, a G-tube, and has an ileostomy (an opening in the abdominal wall). Although this affects his nutrition and toileting, it does not impact his ability to learn or any other aspect of his life. In fact, Dylan is an active and curious child, who loves to play with other children, just like everyone else.


The school refused to enroll Dylan, stating that it did not have the requisite license to handle his medical needs. In addition, the school charged Dylan's mother with the responsibility of figuring out the complex licensing issue. Dylan's mother tried every avenue to enroll her son in school. She even offered to have Dylan's personal home care nurse accompany him and stay with him during school hours, but the school continued to deny his right to attend school.


Dylan's school was discriminating against him based on his medical disability. Learning Rights advocated on his behalf through our Los Angeles Medical-Legal Collaborative for Education (LAMCE) Program. The program delivers an integrated medical-legal approach to ensure the health of patients from birth to 22 years who are receiving medical care at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA). 


LAMCE safeguards the rights of children like Dylan with special needs, including health needs. Learning Right's LAMCE program ensures school re-entry after an extended hospitalization or illness, necessary health accommodations throughout the school day to ensure a safe environment, and enforcement of special education and disability law so that these children can continue learning. Dylan is now able to attend school with the accommodations he needs in order to stay safe and get the education he deserves.