KUOW also has a report on Special Education in SPS. It is heartbreaking and, to me, confusing.
Confusing because in the first story, about a little boy named Ryder, it labels him as being on the "autism spectrum." It states he received services in preschool and yet, he can't get them in SPS? If he has a diagnosis, then he should be receiving services.
Then there is another child in the story, Tenzin, who also has autism and yet he can't get something simple like instructions in a written form. (I was able to get that for my son in high school and that was multiple teachers and no one called it a problem.)
His mom says,
"...the quality of special education in Seattle schools depends too much on
how well a school’s principal understands the federal law that
guarantees services to kids with disabilities." It shouldn't be that way.
This almost seems to echo DeBell's comment about how expensive it is to serve Special Ed students. We all know that but the alternative is to ignore or frustrate them and their families? I'd really like to know what President DeBell thinks should be happening. Does he think families are looking for these diagnoses for their children? Does he think it is easy to have a child with special needs?
"I need someone who’s actually been in the trenches, who’s been in the
battles. Somebody’s who’s seasoned. Somebody that has been in that level
of leadership in administration that is not only familiar with special
ed needs but special ed law, building team, potentially with the idea of
restructuring that whole department," Banda says.
I'd like to do more than cross my fingers that SPS finds that person.