State of Maine, Cumberland ss
Superior Court Civil Action Docket No. CV-04-98
On Behalf of the Plaintiffs: Ronald R. Coles, Esq.
On Behalf ot the Defendants: Melissa A. Hewey, Esq.
Transcript of Hearing, 20 August 2004 before Thomas E. Humphrey, Justice
4. TESTIMONY OF GREGGUS YAHR, PhD
THE CLERK: State your name and spell your last name, please.
THE WITNESS: Greggus Yahr, Y-A-H-R.
THE CLERK: Do you swear that the testimony you shall give in the case now in hearing shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
THE WITNESS: I do.
THE CLERK: Please be seated.
GREGGUS YAHR, PhD, called by the Plaintiffs, having been duly sworn, testified as follows:
BY MR. COLES:
Q. You are Gregory Yahr?
A. Greggus, G-R-E-G-G-U-S.
Q. And what is your occupation, sir?
A. I'm a psychologist, school psychologist, neuropsychologist in private practice in Falmouth, Maine.
Q. Do you have a PhD, sir?
Q. And what is your years of experience as a psychologist?
A. I have been since 1991, I guess. I started in schools as a school psychologist in 1991 and then went back and got my PhD in clinical psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology and I have been practicing privately in schools since '91.
Q. Have you any expertise in Asperger's autism?
Q. What is your experience in that category?
A. Over the last five years working with probably 35, 40 different kids and families, doing a number of evaluations, behavioral interventions, specific treatment. I probably in the last two years have to increase those numbers, I probably see two kids a week and their families related to that.
Q. Do you consider yourself an expert on Asperger's autism?
A. Primarily, in more the high functioning autism, Asperger's spectrum; the severe autism, no.
Q. Is Jan Rankowski a high functioning autism type?
A. No, Asperger's.
Q. Asperger's, I'm sorry.
Q. You're a part of Jan Rankowski's WRAP team?
A. I guess so. I'm not sure what that means but I get an e-mail that says a WRAP meeting, so I guess so.
Q. And you attend a meeting with other professionals to determine how Jan is doing; is that fair to say?
Q. You have read the 18 pages of snooping notes done at the Falmouth schoolyard in October and November of last year?
MS. HEWEY: Objection to the snooping notes characterization.
THE COURT: I'm going to sustain it as to that characterization. The Court understands the document to which reference is being made.
BY MR. COLES:
Q. You have read the 18 pages of written observations of Jan's playground behavior at the Plummer School last fall?
A. Yes, I have.
Q. Is there anything contained within those notes that tell you that the behavior observed of Jan is anything but that of an Asperger's autism child?
A. The answer is yes and no. Some of what is in there seems pretty normal behavior and not specifically an Asperger's, and others very such so, where we had difficulty a couple of times. In looking it over I see behavior that is pretty typical of an Asperger's child and that means sometimes in the right situation it's a nonissue.
Q. From your experience do you have an opinion whether handicapped children are ever harassed or bullied in a playground setting?
A. Asperger's kids, probably the biggest piece is, yes, teasing because they are socially out of step with the environment around them. So the answer is yes.
MR. COLES: No further questions.
THE COURT: Thank you.
MS. HEWEY: I have no questions.
THE COURT: Thank you.
MR. COLES: I have 10 minutes, I would call Mora Katz.
THE WITNESS: All set?
THE COURT: Yes, all set. Thank you.
Can I see counsel at sidebar please?
(Whereupon, a discussion was had at sidebar off the record.)
THE COURT: Ladies and gentlemen, there are -- I'm told that there are several more witnesses six, I am told. As the attorneys know and they have explained to you, we have a budgetary shortage in the courts which requires to us close promptly at four o'clock, which is within six minutes from now. Attorney Coles has two, what he indicates are quick witnesses. We are going to take those but all others may be excused now.
We are going to have to resume this next week. I'm going to determine that date and time with the attorneys as soon as we are finished with the courtroom procedure. So I'll give both attorneys a moment just to inform those, who need not wait here any longer, that they can go home now.
My apologies to all of you for that but we have no choice but to stop right at 4:00.
Okay, Attorney Coles, your next witness please.
MR. COLES: Yes. Bob Susi.
Reported by: Timothy Thompson, RMR, CRR Official Court Reporter
(This transcript was scanned from a certified copy of the original and converted to text using OmniPage Pro 14.)