LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The parents of a fourth-grader who is autistic and non-verbal, speaking only a few words, is fighting to send her to school with a listening device. A hearing on the matter began Monday.
“The purpose of this hearing is that Gia is non-verbal and the parents were excluded from participating in her educational process,” said Marianne Lanuti, an attorney representing the family of Gia Blessing.
Tania Blessing said the device, AngelSense, would allow her to know what is happening to her daughter, Gia, while she’s in school. Tania said she is fighting for other parents, as well.
“So that way the parent has a type of communication with their kids at the school, and they feel more [of a] peace of mind like I do when they have this device with them,” Blessing told the I-Team.
Lanuti and the Blessings attended the hearing, as well as at least one attorney representing the Clark County School District, along with CCSD staff. According to CCSD, AngelSense violates other students’ privacy.
The family is also requesting better communication from staff about the child’s challenges in school, and a one on one aide which Lanuti said would be paid for by the family’s insurance.
“The remedies we’re requesting have very little financial impact and the school district is always saying that it’s a money issue and the cost of this hearing is tremendous,” Lanuti said.
Supporters of the family and other parents of children with special needs rallied outside the hearing. They shared personal stories and challenges and demanded better services for their children from CCSD.
The hearing is expected to continue throughout the week. A hearing master is listening to testimony from both sides.
Earlier this year, the family of JJ Wahrer, who is also non-verbal and autistic, went through a due process hearing to equip JJ with AngelSense. The hearing master ruled they did not have permission to use the device.