New York, New York -

The parents of a 5 year old autistic child who attends PS 59 – The Beekman Hill International School – are outraged as they are harassed and bullied to move their child to a school far from home, because the school lacks qualified professionals trained in autism related interventions and therapies.

PS 59 school officials have engaged in an ongoing and aggressive campaign to harass and bully this child and his parents, which has included numerous unnecessary suspensions ranging up to 3 days for a kindergartner. In its outrageous attempt to drive the family from the school, the school has even gone as far as threatening the parents with arrest when the school tried to forcibly take their child to a hospital. School officials continue to ignore the needs of this autistic child – instead, they continually provoke the child, segregate him from his classmates, and engage in tactics to harass and bully the parents.

Attorney for the family, Brad Gerstman, states, “This pattern of conduct is one of the worst I have ever seen in my time working with special needs families. It is an absolute disgrace for a school to engage in such appalling conduct in order to force a family out of the school district.” As a result of this situation, Mr. Gerstman also stated that, “all legal options would be contemplated, including a lawsuit against the Board of Education.”

This year the CDC reported that 1 in 50 school age children are affected by autism, with a national rate of prevalence of 1 in 88, making autism more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined. Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically last throughout a person’s lifetime. It is the fastest growing developmental disability in the world. Symptoms range from mild to severe and vary with each child. It occurs in all racial, ethnic and social groups. There is no medical detection or cure for autism.

Despite multiple attempts by the child’s family members and lawyer, the school district and NYC Board of Education have refused to intervene.

Attorney Brad Gerstman is available for interviews all day Thursday, December 19th .

About Gerstman, Schwartz & Wink

Gerstman, Schwartz & Wink is a premier New York law firm with expertise in special education, to include advocating, mediating and litigating on behalf of children with special education needs and their families. Our practice is highly regarded and our lawyers are recognized for their passion and excellence in representing the best interests of our clients. We are committed to delivering exceptional, collaborative services and being the firm of choice for parents with special needs children. Under the direct leadership and supervision of nationally recognized attorney and child advocate, Brad Gerstman, our team of highly qualified attorneys, paralegals, assistants, and special education advocates work together to provide our clients with sensitive and timely counsel, as well as diligent representation in all areas of their child’s educational needs.

Press Contact: Heshani Wijemanne (516) 880-8170

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