Recent to semi-recent stories from around the country on Sped topics.
From Disability Scoop, a story about the feds looking to nail down best practices to support those with autism from school to job.
The National Institute of Mental Health is doling out $7.9 million in
first-year funding for 12 research projects that will assess various
models of service delivery for individuals with the developmental
disorder at three key stages of life.
At the young end, grants will fund efforts to determine how best to
identify kids with autism as early as possible and ensure that such
children connect with intervention services, the NIMH said.
Meanwhile, a separate set of projects will focus on individuals
preparing to leave high school. Researchers plan to test methods to
improve school-based service coordination for students during
transition, enhance parent advocacy skills and teach self-regulation and
self-determination to those on the spectrum.
A third group of studies will look at techniques to assist adults
with autism obtain employment and learn social skills as well as other
aspects of independent living.
In my previous thread on enrollment forms for charter schools here in Washington State, I ran across this charter school application for a deaf/hard of hearing school in Spokane. Their charter was not accepted but it's an interesting idea.
From Truthout, the ugly truth about "restraining" disabled students. We've talked about this before and, of course, Sped PTA has talked about this a lot but I thought this article worth reprinting.
Interestingly, the lead to this story mirrors some of the parent comments at last night's Board meeting about why lunch/recess time is so important.
Ask most parents, and they'll probably tell you that they send their
children to school to learn reading, writing and arithmetic. At the same
time, schools have always done more than this, teaching children to
mediate conflict, socialize with peers, and demonstrate self-control and
But what happens if a child is considered out of control?
The result is a roster of horrors: "pinning uncooperative children
face down on the floor, or locking them in dark closets and tying them
with straps, handcuffs, bungee cords and even duct tape."
Yes, it sounds like something out of Dickens, but these tactics are
far from unusual. In fact, ProPublica documented 267,000 instances in
which kids as young as four were subjected to these tactics in 2012
How can this happen?
According to a June 2014 report from ProPublica
there are no federal limits on the use of physical restraint or
isolation rooms for children attending public or charter schools, even
if the student is disabled or in need of therapeutic services.
Some states, of course, have given lip service to protecting children
from the cavalier use of such measures. Nonetheless, in most places,
the standards governing discipline and control are so vague that they
offer scant protection from abuse. The federal government is no better, discouraging the use of restraints or isolation "except where there is a threat of imminent danger or serious physical harm to the student or others."
The US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, concedes that students of color and the disabled
- the majority of them male - are much more likely than their white
peers to be given out-of-school suspensions or be subjected to isolation
or restraint. And the disparity starts early. While African-American
kids comprise 18 percent of pre-K students nationwide, they receive 48
percent of pre-K suspensions. Yes, you read this correctly: This is
happening to 3 and 4-year-olds.
I'll look to SPS Sped parents to update us on what SPS is doing (or not doing).