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, 27 August 2004 before Thomas E. Humphrey, Justice
12. TESTIMONY OF WENDY O'DONOVAN
MS. HEWEY: My next witness is Wendy O'Donovan.
THE COURT: Would you please raise your right hand.
(The witness took the witness stand and was sworn in by the court.)
THE COURT: Could you please state your full name and spell your last.
THE WITNESS: Wendy Sue O'Donovan, O D O N O V A N.
WENDY SUE O'DONOVAN, after having been first duly sworn, testified as follows:
BY MS. HEWEY:
Q. Wendy, you live in Falmouth?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. And do you have children?
A. I do, two boys.
Q. Are they in the Falmouth school system?
A. Yes, one going into first grade, one going into third grade.
Q. And does one of your -- has one of your children been diagnosed with autism?
Q. Which one?
A. My oldest, the third grader.
Q. One going into third grade?
Q. So has he been at the Lunt School before this?
Q. And he's now going into Plummer-Motz?
Q. During the time that he's been in Falmouth, your older son has been in the Falmouth School Department have you had the opportunity to work with Polly Crowell?
Q. Can you tell us how you have worked with her?
A. She chairs our annual PETs, and I have met with her about some questions I have had about Ryan's summer program.
Q. Okay. Have you found that she's had an open door policy?
Q. Can you describe generally for the court what your experiences with Polly have been?
A. Polly is very open, honest, up front with me, we can have a dialogue back and forth.
Q. Generally the Falmouth School Department Polly and teachers, principals, how would you describe your experience with them?
MR. COLES: Objection to the form of the question as overly vague, overly broad.
THE COURT: Go ahead. You may answer that if you can.
THE WITNESS: Can you repeat the question.
BY MS HEWEY:
Q. Sure. Speaking generally about the people that you work with in the Falmouth School Department with respect to your son how would you describe your experience?
A. They are willing to listen to my concerns, and we work as a team together to solve, if there are any issues that come up, there is an open, I feel a very open door policy that I can go in and talk to people if I feel something is not working for him, and they meet me halfway a lot of times. I mean it's a good, it's a good place.
Q. Okay. Has your son ever had behavioral issues?
Q. And when those issues have arisen how has the school department addressed them?
A. They have, they had a behavioral consultant come and observe my son and come up with a plan so that would help him fit and function better in the classroom to kind of dissect what was happening for him and to come up with a good way to help teach him to meld more with the other kids.
Q. Do they ask for your permission to perform the functional assessment?
A. Oh, yes.
Q. And you gave that?
Q. And after that assessment was performed a plan was put together?
Q. And how did that work?
A. It -- the behavior specialist observed my son, came up with some recommendations. I sat down with his autism teacher and we went over it and tried to institute it both at home and at school to make it work in both places because he needs that, he needs it both places to make it work.
Q. Was it successful?
Q. I have no further questions. Thank you.
THE COURT: Thank you.
BY MR. COLES:
Q. How old is your child?
A. He's eight-years-old.
Q. He is going to be nine this year?
A. Well, 2005 he will be nine.
Q. He is nonverbal and mentally retarded, is that fair to say?
Q. Tell me what, what is he, nonverbal?
Q. He is not nonverbal. Is he mentally retarded?
Q. He is autistic?
Q. Problem learning?
A. No, well, he's autistic.
Q. Any services being provided by outside providers, or is everything being done by the Falmouth School Department?
A. He does have some outside services provided.
Q. Who particularly outside does your child have working with him?
A. Well, it depends. Right now he doesn't have anybody. It's varied throughout our experience with him. I mean --
Q. Have any outside providers, neurologists, psychologists, speech people ever done any intensive assessments of your child?
A. Well, when he was initially diagnosed the pediatric neurologist diagnosed him.
Q. That's one report, right?
Q. All the other reports are done through the school system, through the school psychologist?
MS. HEWEY: Objection, she is trying to answer the question.
THE COURT: I will sustain that. You may finish your answer.
THE WITNESS: His speech therapist has done assessments on him.
BY MR. COLES:
Q. All other assessments are being done through the Falmouth School Department?
A. He has observational assessments done through any of his providers.
Q. The providers are provided through the Falmouth School Department?
A. No. My son has had outside services from other providers who provide observational assessments of him.
Q. Your child is in school, not home schooled, is that correct?
Q. Have you ever discussed this case with anyone other than our conversation in the courtroom?
A. My husband.
Q. Miss Hewey, defense counsel?
A. Well, yeah.
Q. Tell me the discussions when they first started with Miss Hewey.
A. I think June, July she called me.
Q. And did she tell you that she wanted you to testify as the parent of an autistic child?
A. She asked me if I would testify.
Q. And you told her that your child was autistic?
Q. Have any promises been made to you by the Falmouth School Department or Miss Hewey for your testimony today?
Q. No questions., no further questions.
THE COURT: Thank you. Attorney Hewey.
MS. HEWEY: I have no further questions. Thank you.
THE COURT: Thank you. Thank you, Miss O'Donovan.
MS. HEWEY: Our next witness is
Reported by: Diane L. McManus, Official Court Reporter
(This transcript was scanned from a certified copy of the original and converted to text using OmniPage Pro 14.)