Missouri Advocates For Families Affected by Autism

We are a citizens action group advocating and lobbying for families that have a child with special needs. We believe that EVERY child has a right to a FREE and APPROPRIATE EDUCATION and should NEVER BE LEFT BEHIND.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Missouri seeks public input for waiver to No Child law | Springfield News-Leader | News-Leader.com

Missouri seeks public input for waiver to No Child law Springfield News-Leader News-Leader.com

Why "No Parents Allowed"? - Parentalrights.org - Protecting Children by Empowering Parents 

Why "No Parents Allowed"? - Parentalrights.org - Protecting Children by Empowering Parents

Adam’s Story Excerpt

Adam’s Story Excerpt

Mommy, I Wish I Could Tell You What They Did To Me In School Today
Everyday Atrocities Faced by Special Needs Children

By Richard S. Stripp, Sr.

IN LOVING MEMORY OF NOAH V. VARCADIPANE8/4/1996 – 11/14/2009 “MOMMY’S SUPERMAN”

The children and adult characters in this book are based on students and individuals that the author has interacted with and/or worked with directly.
The majority of children who “speak” in this book are non-verbal. Their words which you will read are fictitious and were never spoken by them but are based on actual events that occurred in their lives. It is the author’s belief that if the non-verbal children in this book could speak, what you are about to read is what they might have said.
Any conversations between the author and anyone in the book are based on actual events and conversations.
“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Stuck in RTI Purgatory

Stuck in RTI Purgatory

Progress Monitoring - Wrightslaw.com

Progress Monitoring - Wrightslaw.com

Specific Learning Disabilities, Discrepancy and Response to Intervention Models & IDEA 2004 by Peter W. D. Wright & Pamela Darr Wright - Wrightslaw

Specific Learning Disabilities, Discrepancy and Response to Intervention Models & IDEA 2004 by Peter W. D. Wright & Pamela Darr Wright - Wrightslaw

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Capturing the essence of an IEP Meeting with humor - National special education | Examiner.com

Capturing the essence of an IEP Meeting with humor - National special education Examiner.com

Judge slams San Francisco school personnel for delay and stall tactics - National special education | Examiner.com

Judge slams San Francisco school personnel for delay and stall tactics - National special education Examiner.com

The anti child industry devoted to keeping services at minimum - National special education | Examiner.com

The anti child industry devoted to keeping services at minimum - National special education Examiner.com

The anti child industry Part 2 - National special education | Examiner.com

The anti child industry Part 2 - National special education Examiner.com

The anti child industry: Where the big money goes - National special education | Examiner.com

The anti child industry: Where the big money goes - National special education Examiner.com

Does your school have a secret history of abusing disabled children? Find out here - National special education | Examiner.com

Does your school have a secret history of abusing disabled children? Find out here - National special education Examiner.com

Missouri

1. North Mercer R3, Mercer, MO (Seclusion Room: Closet converted to seclusion room)
2. Underwood Elementary School, Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Lee’s Summit, MO (Seclusion: Child kept in closet for most of a month)

Disability Programs In Limbo Following Supercommittee Collapse - Disability Scoop

Disability Programs In Limbo Following Supercommittee Collapse - Disability Scoop

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Penn State Scandal Shines Light on Child-Abuse Reporting Laws

Penn State Scandal Shines Light on Child-Abuse Reporting Laws

I have been witness to and heard stories of school employees that emotionally, psychologically, and verbally abuse children. This should be included in these laws. Bullying is bullying. Zero tolerance should apply to everyone in a school building. Not just the children.

States Falling Short in Serving Infants, Toddlers With Disabilities?

States Falling Short in Serving Infants, Toddlers With Disabilities?

Some states fare particularly poorly, Easter Seals found. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, the District of Columbia, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, and Tennessee serve fewer than 2 percent of their population. On the other hand, some states do much better: Massachusetts, New Mexico, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Wyoming serve more than 4 percent of their population through Part C.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Autism Papers--Children with Asperger's Syndrome: Characteristics/Learning Styles and Intervention Strategies pg 1

Autism Papers--Children with Asperger's Syndrome: Characteristics/Learning Styles and Intervention Strategies pg 1

How Can I Understand The Way That My Child With Aspergers Learns? | Aspergers Education Tips

How Can I Understand The Way That My Child With Aspergers Learns? Aspergers Education Tips

UMKC-led consortium gets grant to help disabled - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports, classifieds-

UMKC-led consortium gets grant to help disabled - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports, classifieds-

Benson says MO education chief driving off KCMSD administrators - KCTV 5

Benson says MO education chief driving off KCMSD administrators - KCTV 5

UCM won't renew contract to sponsor KC charter | The Associated Press | News | Washington Examiner

UCM won't renew contract to sponsor KC charter The Associated Press News Washington Examiner

St. Louis Beacon - Lawmakers hear plight of St. Louis students at education hearing

St. Louis Beacon - Lawmakers hear plight of St. Louis students at education hearing

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Discrimination Found at Fox C-6 School District | International Coalition for Autism and All Abilities

Discrimination Found at Fox C-6 School District International Coalition for Autism and All Abilities

More Evidence of the Long Term Effects of Bullying « Bullying Stories

More Evidence of the Long Term Effects of Bullying « Bullying Stories

The Long Term Effects of Bullying - Depression Resources, Education About Depression and Unipolar Depression

The Long Term Effects of Bullying - Depression Resources, Education About Depression and Unipolar Depression

Atlanta high schools broke rules to meet performance standards  | ajc.com

Atlanta high schools broke rules to meet performance standards ajc.com

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I think my Husband has Aspergers...

I think my Husband has Aspergers...

When Hope Seems Lost | International Coalition for Autism and All Abilities#more-1332#more-1332#more-1332

When Hope Seems Lost International Coalition for Autism and All Abilities#more-1332#more-1332#more-1332

4-year-old says teacher's aide spanked her with shoe - CBS 5 - KPHO

4-year-old says teacher's aide spanked her with shoe - CBS 5 - KPHO

In Memory of Fred Fay (September 12, 1944 - August 20, 2011)- Wrightslaw

In Memory of Fred Fay (September 12, 1944 - August 20, 2011)- Wrightslaw

Bedford family alleges abuse of autistic child in $20 million lawsuit - WTKR

Bedford family alleges abuse of autistic child in $20 million lawsuit - WTKR

Thursday, September 29, 2011

An expensive fight over a boy with autism  | ajc.com

An expensive fight over a boy with autism ajc.com

5 Reasons Why Autism Moms Rock! | Psychology Today

5 Reasons Why Autism Moms Rock! Psychology Today

National Autism Association - Autism Safety Initiative - Our mission is providing resources, education, advocacy, awareness and support - Restraint & Seclusion - 10 Restraint & Seclusion Tips for Parents

National Autism Association - Autism Safety Initiative - Our mission is providing resources, education, advocacy, awareness and support - Restraint & Seclusion - 10 Restraint & Seclusion Tips for Parents

National Autism Association (NAA) Says Vinegar-Soaked Cotton Balls in Disabled Students' Mouths Underscores Need for 'Aversives' Ban - PR Newswire - sacbee.com

National Autism Association (NAA) Says Vinegar-Soaked Cotton Balls in Disabled Students' Mouths Underscores Need for 'Aversives' Ban - PR Newswire - sacbee.com

Sunday, September 11, 2011

OASIS @ MAAP - Understanding the Student With Asperger's Syndrome: Guidelines for Teachers

OASIS @ MAAP - Understanding the Student With Asperger's Syndrome: Guidelines for Teachers

Recommendations For Students with High Functioning Autism by Kerry Hogan — TEACCH - UNC School of Medicine

Recommendations For Students with High Functioning Autism by Kerry Hogan — TEACCH - UNC School of Medicine

Strategies for Surviving Middle School with an Included Child with Autism by Ann Palmer — TEACCH - UNC School of Medicine

Strategies for Surviving Middle School with an Included Child with Autism by Ann Palmer — TEACCH - UNC School of Medicine

OASIS @ MAAP - Tips for Teaching High-Functioning People with Autism

OASIS @ MAAP - Tips for Teaching High-Functioning People with Autism

AUTCOM - Autcom's Red Flags And Rules of Thumb for Evaluating Treatments

AUTCOM - Autcom's Red Flags And Rules of Thumb for Evaluating Treatments

Families Against Restraint and Seclusion

Families Against Restraint and Seclusion

What do I do if the school won’t offer me an IEP evaluation? | Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri

What do I do if the school won’t offer me an IEP evaluation? Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri

Law Will Create Special Needs Scholarship Tax Credit Program in Missouri | Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri

Law Will Create Special Needs Scholarship Tax Credit Program in Missouri Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri

Stop ignoring key provision in Missouri education law - KansasCity.com

Stop ignoring key provision in Missouri education law - KansasCity.com

Monday, August 29, 2011

Family of Special Needs Boy Claims Republic Teacher Assaulted Him - kspr.com

Family of Special Needs Boy Claims Republic Teacher Assaulted Him - kspr.com

Republic School District is the worst in Missouri; school accused of making middle school rape victim apologize to attacker | Plog#readerComments

Republic School District is the worst in Missouri; school accused of making middle school rape victim apologize to attacker Plog#readerComments

Special Needs Student Sues Missouri School District Over Rapes - ABC News

Special Needs Student Sues Missouri School District Over Rapes - ABC News

Thanks to ABC News for covering this story.

Washington Supreme Court returns favorable opinion in Dowler v. Clover Park School District |  Copaa

Washington Supreme Court returns favorable opinion in Dowler v. Clover Park School District Copaa

7.30 - ABC

7.30 - ABC Hidden shame
The teachers using physical force to manage autistic children.

Exclusive: Parents say abuse cover-up extends to state agency - CBS Atlanta News, Weather, Sports, Traffic - WGCL 46

Exclusive: Parents say abuse cover-up extends to state agency - CBS Atlanta News, Weather, Sports, Traffic - WGCL 46

Family Of Dead Student Plans To Sue School - News Story - WSB Atlanta

Family Of Dead Student Plans To Sue School - News Story - WSB Atlanta

Parent of student sprayed with Lysol demands answers - CBS Atlanta News, Weather, Sports, Traffic - WGCL 46

Parent of student sprayed with Lysol demands answers - CBS Atlanta News, Weather, Sports, Traffic - WGCL 46

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Vanderbilt Leads In Special Education Research - Disability Scoop

Vanderbilt Leads In Special Education Research - Disability Scoop

Mental Health Services Uncertain For Adults With Autism - Disability Scoop

Mental Health Services Uncertain For Adults With Autism - Disability Scoop

New Guide Offers Road Map To IEP Process - Disability Scoop

New Guide Offers Road Map To IEP Process - Disability Scoop

Teen Behind Inclusive Cheerleading Awarded $100K On VH1 - Disability Scoop

Teen Behind Inclusive Cheerleading Awarded $100K On VH1 - Disability Scoop

E-Learning Expands for Special-Needs Students

E-Learning Expands for Special-Needs Students

Bullying Has Greater Effect on Black, Latino Students | News | BET

Bullying Has Greater Effect on Black, Latino Students News BET

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Autism Insurance Settlements Ill-Conceived, Advocates Say - Disability Scoop

Autism Insurance Settlements Ill-Conceived, Advocates Say - Disability Scoop

'Wandering' Diagnosis Gets Green Light - Disability Scoop

'Wandering' Diagnosis Gets Green Light - Disability Scoop

Lawmakers Push For Full Funding Of IDEA - Disability Scoop

Lawmakers Push For Full Funding Of IDEA - Disability Scoop

Disability Legislation On Hold As Congress Nears Recess - Disability Scoop

Disability Legislation On Hold As Congress Nears Recess - Disability Scoop

For Executives at Group Homes, Generous Pay and Little Oversight - NYTimes.com

For Executives at Group Homes, Generous Pay and Little Oversight - NYTimes.com

Autism foundation's IRS filings raise eyebrows | StarTribune.com

Autism foundation's IRS filings raise eyebrows StarTribune.com

Plan To Regulate Subminimum Wage Sparks Debate - Disability Scoop

Plan To Regulate Subminimum Wage Sparks Debate - Disability Scoop

McDonald's Manager Accused Of Punching Customer - News Story - WSB Atlanta

McDonald's Manager Accused Of Punching Customer - News Story - WSB Atlanta

Debt Crisis May Spell Trouble For Disability Benefits - Disability Scoop

Debt Crisis May Spell Trouble For Disability Benefits - Disability Scoop

Licensing Of Behavior Analysts Called Into Question - Disability Scoop

Licensing Of Behavior Analysts Called Into Question - Disability Scoop

State to regulate Rotenberg Center's shock treatment - Quincy, MA - The Patriot Ledger

State to regulate Rotenberg Center's shock treatment - Quincy, MA - The Patriot Ledger

Respite Care To Get Boost From Feds - Disability Scoop

Respite Care To Get Boost From Feds - Disability Scoop

Study: Bullying More Common Among Students With Disabilities - Disability Scoop

Study: Bullying More Common Among Students With Disabilities - Disability Scoop

'Pink room' for students exhibiting violent behavior at Palmer's Old Mill Pond School closes after anonymous complaint | masslive.com

'Pink room' for students exhibiting violent behavior at Palmer's Old Mill Pond School closes after anonymous complaint masslive.com

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Profiles In Courage-Stories Of Living With Autism

Profiles in courage- stories of living with autism

Posted Friday, April 15, 2011, at 11:19 AM

Let me tell you about courage. The kind I never want to have to know.
 
Jessica Simmers lives it every day. You might have seen Jessica and her blonde hair, angelic-face little boy on the front page of the Southeast Missourian this week.

Let me take you back.

Landyn, did everything early. Jessica said as soon as he started crawling he wanted to walk.
And then everything stopped. Landyn turned 2 and he stopped talking. He grew extremely distant from other children, almost like he was ignoring them. He was obsessed with routine. He had to eat breakfast as soon as he woke up. He wanted to go outside, no matter the weather, or he would become agitated, cry inconsolably.

About seven months ago, Jessica's finance saw a program about autism and noticed startling similarities in Landyn. They did their research, mostly online. Of the 15 basic symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, Landyn exhibited 14.

Jessica took her son to the Southeast Missouri State University Autism Center for Diagnosis and Treatment in January. The diagnosis came down fast, and it was just what this young mother suspected: autism.

"I was upset but relieved," she told me. "I knew what it was, and I knew how to help him."
Help is on the way. It appears Landyn, 3, Jessica's "blessing, is getting the care he needs through a suite of services at the center and beyond. And the earlier treatment the better, reams of studies on autism and plenty of experience teach us.

Dr. David Crowe, of Cape Girardeau, has felt the heartbreak that autism brings.

His son, Taylor, was a happy, joyful toddler, advanced in speech and development before he shut down. He lost virtually all of his language skills by the time he was 3 1/2.

Here's the part that really hits me where I live as a dad, and as a son of a father whose ability to speak was robbed by stroke.

"One morning we were having breakfast, and Taylor said, 'Daddy, my mouth won't say the words, my mouth won't say the words,' and he started crying," Crowe said. "He was letting us know that's what was happening; we just didn't know what he was saying. Then it was gone."

Taylor couldn't stand being touched, he was impatient, he couldn't communicate and he was frustrated. He cried all the time.

"It's very difficult to put into words what it's like to have your child essentially change overnight, becoming distant, uncomfortable and unhappy after he had been a happy, joyful little child," Crowe said.

Taylor experienced what appears to be Landyn's diagnosis: Childhood disintegrative disorder. The average age of onset is between three and four years of age, although symptoms may appear by 2. Until this time, the child has age-appropriate skills in communication and social relationships.
To watch your child grow, to learn, to experience the joys of toddlerhood and then watch so much of it virtually taken away overnight is frightening beyond comprehension to me.

But the Crowe family, especially Taylor, never gave up.

Through meticulous speech therapy work, deep social connections, patience and love, Taylor, who turns 30 this year, is an artist and an author who has traveled the country telling his story, explaining autism spectrum disorders. Crowe calls him a "living, breathing example of what the human potential could do." Taylor, he said, is his hero.

"We always felt that happy little boy was locked in there, and we just wanted him back," he said.
There are an estimated as many as 700,000 children and young adults are living with autism spectrum disorder. Some cases are more severe than others, some stories don't have the kind of happier endings the Crowes experienced. And with so many autistic children beginning to come of age, experts in the field say a crisis of service and resources, too, is coming.

This is National Autism Awareness Month. It's a time to remember the people affected by this group of neurological disorders and, I believe, the courage they must have to carry themselves through to the other side of fear.

As one parent of an autistic child put it, living with autism is about patience and love.

I think it's also about a kind of strength unknown to most.

All qualities that teach us how to live and learn.

Here are some upcoming Southeast Missouri State University events commemorating National Autism Awareness Month
* The Alpha Xi Delta sorority at Southeast Missouri State University is hosting its annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks and Alpha Xi Delta BBQ on Sunday. The walk, which takes place at Capaha Park in Cape Girardeau, is open to the public. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with the walk starting at 9:30 a.m. A BBQ will be held after the completion of the walk at 11:30 a.m.
* The Southeast Autism Center for Diagnosis and Treatment along with Counseling and Disability Services is co-sponsoring a movie night, showing "Temple Grandin" at 6 p.m. April 18 in the University Center Program Lounge. The award-winning HBO movie, starring Clare Danes, is a story of an Autistic woman who has become one of the top scientists in the humane livestock-handling industry and is a widely-respected presenter and author in the field of Autism.
* The International Counseling Honor Society, Chi Sigma Iota, at Southeast will host a meeting on April 19 to focus on interventions and treatment for working with individuals diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Moore and H├ębert will be the presenters for the evening.
*Autism and developmental screenings will be available on Friday, April 29, in Dexter, Mo. The screenings are co-sponsored by the S.H.O.W. Mobile (Southeast Health on Wheels) at Southeast and the University Autism Center. Families who have concerns regarding child development are encouraged to come to the S.H.O.W. Mobile for screenings. The S.H.O.W. Mobile operates out of the College of Health and Human Services in a partnership with Southeast Health. Once time, location and procedures for obtaining an appointment are finalized, information will be available on the University Autism Center website at www.semo.edu/autismcenter or by calling (573) 986-4985.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

AUTCOM - Can aversives and restraints produce PTSD in people with autism?

AUTCOM - Can aversives and restraints produce PTSD in people with autism?

AUTCOM - Today's Criteria for Inclusion of Students with Autism/PDD in Their Natural Communities

AUTCOM - Today's Criteria for Inclusion of Students with Autism/PDD in Their Natural Communities

AUTCOM - Articles

AUTCOM - Articles

AUTCOM - Alternatives to Behaviorism

AUTCOM - Alternatives to Behaviorism

AUTCOM - Memorandum: On the Exclusive Use of Discrete Trial Training for Children Diagnosed as Autistic/PDD

AUTCOM - Memorandum: On the Exclusive Use of Discrete Trial Training for Children Diagnosed as Autistic/PDD

AUTCOM - DSM

AUTCOM - DSM

The Cost of Waiting | TASH

The Cost of Waiting TASH

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Asperger Syndrome and Giftedness - Duke Gifted Letter

Asperger Syndrome and Giftedness - Duke Gifted Letter

School Compared To 'Mental Institution' Under Investigation - Disability Scoop

School Compared To 'Mental Institution' Under Investigation - Disability Scoop

Duncan Calls For End To Inflated Special Education Test Scores - Disability Scoop

Duncan Calls For End To Inflated Special Education Test Scores - Disability Scoop

Legislator Who Suggested Siberia For 'Retarded' Resigns - Disability Scoop

Legislator Who Suggested Siberia For 'Retarded' Resigns - Disability Scoop

After Two Decades, Change Coming To ADA - Disability Scoop

After Two Decades, Change Coming To ADA - Disability Scoop

N.J. to propose $10K annual stipend for families taking care of developmentally disabled adults | NJ.com

N.J. to propose $10K annual stipend for families taking care of developmentally disabled adults NJ.com

Genius at work: 12-year-old is studying at IUPUI | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com

Genius at work: 12-year-old is studying at IUPUI The Indianapolis Star indystar.com

Congress To Consider Parent Financial Burden In IDEA Cases - Disability Scoop

Congress To Consider Parent Financial Burden In IDEA Cases - Disability Scoop

Friday, February 25, 2011

8-year-old Riverside Elementary student arrested – for fifth time

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orange/os-8-year-old-arrested-tantrums-20110225,0,44851.story

Autism Society - Federal Budget Proposal Includes Funding for Autism Research, IDEA; Proposed Cuts Overall are Severe

Autism Society - Federal Budget Proposal Includes Funding for Autism Research, IDEA; Proposed Cuts Overall are Severe

Autism Society - Federal Government Announces $4.3 Billion in New Funds for Community Alternatives to Institutional Long-Term Care

Autism Society - Federal Government Announces $4.3 Billion in New Funds for Community Alternatives to Institutional Long-Term Care

Autism Society - Share Your Story: Help Families Get Expert Witnesses for IDEA Due Process Hearings

Autism Society - Share Your Story: Help Families Get Expert Witnesses for IDEA Due Process Hearings

Autism Society - Researchers Reveal First Autism Candidate Gene That Demonstrates Sensitivity to Sex Hormones

Autism Society - Researchers Reveal First Autism Candidate Gene That Demonstrates Sensitivity to Sex Hormones

How a child with Asperger's helped his father become a better parent | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online

How a child with Asperger's helped his father become a better parent The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online

Researchers Detect Babies' Potential Risk of Autism - ABC News

Researchers Detect Babies' Potential Risk of Autism - ABC News

Autism Society - Jackie's Story

Autism Society - Jackie's Story

Autism Society - Sensory Friendly Films

Autism Society - Sensory Friendly Films

Autism Society - Autism Society Will Join Autism Community to Call for Autism Understanding and Acceptance this April

Autism Society - Autism Society Will Join Autism Community to Call for Autism Understanding and Acceptance this April

Autism Society - Join the Autism Society at TimesTalks, presented by the New York Times, this March

Autism Society - Join the Autism Society at TimesTalks, presented by the New York Times, this March

Autism Society - Autism Society Presents Public Service Announcement for Spring 2011

Autism Society - Autism Society Presents Public Service Announcement for Spring 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Supreme Court Issues Pro-Child Decision in Forest Grove School District v. T.A. by Peter Wright, Esq. and Pamela Wright, MA, MSW - Wrightslaw.com

Supreme Court Issues Pro-Child Decision in Forest Grove School District v. T.A. by Peter Wright, Esq. and Pamela Wright, MA, MSW - Wrightslaw.com

Special Education Caselaw - Law Library - Wrightslaw

Special Education Caselaw - Law Library - Wrightslaw

IDEA: Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

IDEA: Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

Supreme Court Says No To Parents Suing Vaccine Makers - Disability Scoop

Supreme Court Says No To Parents Suing Vaccine Makers - Disability Scoop

Feds Unleash Billions For Community Living - Disability Scoop

Feds Unleash Billions For Community Living - Disability Scoop

Parent Observations v. Student Privacy and Confidentiality by Pete Wright and Pam Wright - Wrightslaw.com

Parent Observations v. Student Privacy and Confidentiality by Pete Wright and Pam Wright - Wrightslaw.com

Passing Grades, IQ scores, and Evaluations of Students with Learning Disabilities - OSEP Policy Letter to Lillie /Felton - Wrightslaw

Passing Grades, IQ scores, and Evaluations of Students with Learning Disabilities - OSEP Policy Letter to Lillie /Felton - Wrightslaw

Is Child with Passing Grades Eligible for Special Ed Under IDEA?

Is Child with Passing Grades Eligible for Special Ed Under IDEA?

Tax Benefits for Taxpayers with Disabilities and Parents of Children with Disabilities - Wrightslaw

Tax Benefits for Taxpayers with Disabilities and Parents of Children with Disabilities - Wrightslaw

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

10-year-old autistic boy, Brandon Strong, punished for behavior caused by his condition

10-year-old autistic boy, Brandon Strong, punished for behavior caused by his condition

Record Number of Children Enrolled in School Choice Programs This Year | Children's Education Council of Missouri - CECM

Record Number of Children Enrolled in School Choice Programs This Year Children's Education Council of Missouri - CECM

Special Needs Scholarship Tax Credit Bill Returns | Children's Education Council of Missouri - CECM

Special Needs Scholarship Tax Credit Bill Returns Children's Education Council of Missouri - CECM

Report Reveals Silent Epidemic of Bullying Against Children With Special Needs -- SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Report Reveals Silent Epidemic of Bullying Against Children With Special Needs -- SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Bill Filed to Expand Charter Schools Statewide, Increase Accountability | Children's Education Council of Missouri - CECM

Bill Filed to Expand Charter Schools Statewide, Increase Accountability Children's Education Council of Missouri - CECM

Feds Put Virginia On Notice Over Disability Violations - Disability Scoop

Feds Put Virginia On Notice Over Disability Violations - Disability Scoop

Obama Budget Brings Mixed Bag For People With Disabilities - Disability Scoop

Obama Budget Brings Mixed Bag For People With Disabilities - Disability Scoop

Judge: Special Needs Community 'Disproportionately Vulnerable' In Emergencies - Disability Scoop

Judge: Special Needs Community 'Disproportionately Vulnerable' In Emergencies - Disability Scoop

Waiting Lists, Fragmented Services Among Developmental Disability Barriers - Disability Scoop

Waiting Lists, Fragmented Services Among Developmental Disability Barriers - Disability Scoop

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Support Youth with Significant Disabilities Get Equal Opportunities to Become Productive, Responsible, Contributing Citizens of Society in Adulthood

Support Youth with Significant Disabilities Get Equal Opportunities to Become Productive, Responsible, Contributing Citizens of Society in Adulthood


Cosponsor the Transitioning towards Excellence & Achievement in Mobility through Education

(TEAM-Education) Act of 2011

POLICY OVERVIEW

Despite significant public expenditures in special education, students with intellectual and developmental disabilities frequently transition out of high school lacking the proper skills required to find and maintain employment or pursue post-secondary education. This trend is due to a reluctance among state and local educational authorities in providing hands-on work experience and training (including mentoring, internships, summer work programs, and career development) that is typically offered to non-disabled students during their transitional years. Instead, low expectations dominate individualized education plans (IEPs) for students with special needs despite the potential and desire of many students to pursue opportunities that will help them gain experience to better prepare them for the workforce and adulthood. Although the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to provide transition services to support students with disabilities during their high school years, there currently lacks no enforcement, monitoring or evaluation of school districts to ensure that they are complying with this important provision in the law.

It is no surprise then that upon exiting the school system, these young citizens are woefully unprepared and unsupported in finding and maintaining employment in the community and at wages which promote optimal self-sufficiency and independence. Yet research demonstrates that when provided with preparatory, hands-on job experience in the form of part-time work, internships, or summer employment, individuals with significant disabilities can successfully obtain and sustain work in integrated settings and earn competitive wages.

PURPOSE OF LEGISLATION

The TEAM legislation provides three separate legislative responses to better align existing federal programs providing publically-funded systems and supports to focus on one uniform goal – ensuring that every youth with a significant disability has the opportunity, encouragement and support to become gainfully employed in an integrated setting, pursue a post-secondary education, and contribute to and meaningfully engage in typical community settings upon leaving high school.

TEAM-EDUCATION ACT OF 2011: BILL SUMMARY

The TEAM-Education Act amends IDEA to encourage and empower schools districts, states educational authorities, students with significant disabilities, their familiesand transition teams to plan for and achieve employment in an integrated setting at minimum wage or higher after high school.

 Adds requirements to ensure Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) holistically address the transition needs of students: Under this bill, the IEP changes the age when transition planning must be included in a student’s IEP from age 14 to 16, and requires school districts to invite the State Intellectual/Developmental Disability (I/DD) Authority to participate on the IEP & transition planning team for students expected to be eligible for adult I/DD services. The bill further requires the IEP to include comprehensive transition planning and services, including objectives for developing the skills, knowledge-base, training and experience to successfully obtain integrated employment, economic self-sufficiency, independent living and community involvement. The bill would require schools to produce a comprehensive portfolio of the student’s skills, experiences and talents relevant to employers, tobe given to the student and parents once the student exits the school system. Additionally, the bill offers

TEAM-Education Act of 2011 Page 2

advocacy training for students and families to help them prepare better for articulating the wishes of the student during the IEP process.

 Allows for IDEA Part B discretionary dollars to be used by school districts to hire or contract with professionals possessing transition expertise for youth with significant disabilities: The legislation clarifies that school districts are allowed and encouraged to use IDEA discretionary funds for either hiring transition experts within or contracting out transition services as needed, based on stringent criteria that these contracts be focused on the preparation and confirmation of integrated, competitive employment or other desired post-secondary education outcomes.

 Modifies the Definition of Transition Services: Ensures that the definition of transition services includes customized employment services and training in advocacy and self-determination activities to better prepare youth for job preparation and advocating on their own behalf. Additionally, the bill clarifies that transition services do not include facility-based or other segregated programs.

 Establishes Support for Local Transition Coordinators: Provides $50 million to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to pilot the hiring of internal transition services coordinators who would be responsible for facilitating relationships with public and private entities on behalf of the student and the student’s family to ensure the successful provision of desired transition services necessary to achieving the student’s transition objectives.

POLICY RATIONALE

The goal of publically-funded transition services and supports for youth with disabilities should be focused on helping youth with significant disabilities acquire the skills, knowledge and experience required to successfully obtain a job in an integrated setting at minimum wage or higher, ensure maximum community participation and achieve optimal self-sufficiency. To achieve this goal, Congress must establish a coordinated, comprehensive approach to the investment of public resources that expands and improves the choices of youth with significant disabilities who are transitioning into adulthood to ensure the design and execution of an individualized , coordinated strategy aimed at securing meaningful post-secondary educational opportunities, career development and training, supported employment in an integrated setting, and inclusion in the community setting through independent living and social engagement.

The TEAM-Education Act would streamline the transition process at the high-school level and require coordination and collaboration between the state education authority and the State I/DD authority to maximize the efficient use of resources through systems alignment. Clarifying that facility based or other segregated experiences are not acceptable transition services will focus IEP teams on having high expectations of all students and in identifying opportunities that lead to integrated employment, post secondary education, independent living and optimal self-sufficiency for students with significant disabilities. The legislation ensures that the newest and most promising practices for assisting students in finding, creating and maintaining employment are implemented, rather than promoting a continued dismissal of the potential of students with disabilities to become productive citizens and contribute in meaningful ways to their communities.

ACTION REQUIRED

Congressional leaders dedicated to improving the future opportunities of youth with significant disabilities through fiscally responsible, innovative systems-reform strategies are encouraged to co-sponsor all three of the following legislative proposals: TEAM-Education Act of 2011; Team-Empowerment Act of 2011; and TEAM-Employment Act of 2011. To cosponsor one or more of these innovative legislative bills, please contact Scot Malvaney in the Office of U.S. Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS) at scot.malvaney@mail.house.gov or 202-225-5031.

Education Week: Ex-D.C. School Chief Rhee Defends Teacher Firings, Despite Ruling

Education Week: Ex-D.C. School Chief Rhee Defends Teacher Firings, Despite Ruling

Dems ask governor for special-ed funds | State Government | Wichita Eagle

Dems ask governor for special-ed funds State Government Wichita Eagle

Friday, February 11, 2011

Special Education Law Blog: Special Needs as a Second Language by Lori Miller Fox

Special Education Law Blog: Special Needs as a Second Language by Lori Miller Fox

Special Education Law Blog: Steps towards Making a Strategic Plan for Your Next IEP

Special Education Law Blog: Steps towards Making a Strategic Plan for Your Next IEP

Special Education Law Blog: Guidelines for Effective Educational Testing Part 1

Special Education Law Blog: Guidelines for Effective Educational Testing Part 1

Special Education Law Blog: Guidelines for Effective Educational Testing Part 2

Special Education Law Blog: Guidelines for Effective Educational Testing Part 2

Special Education Law Blog: Words of Wisdom for (and at) IEP Meetings

Special Education Law Blog: Words of Wisdom for (and at) IEP Meetings

Special Education Law Blog: Comprehensive Accomodations Manual is a Good Reference for Your Next IEP and for High Stakes Testing

Special Education Law Blog: Comprehensive Accomodations Manual is a Good Reference for Your Next IEP and for High Stakes Testing

Special Education Law Blog: Count Your Blessings? by Lori Miller Fox

Special Education Law Blog: Count Your Blessings? by Lori Miller Fox

Special Education Law Blog: Emergency Evacuation Should be Part of the IEP

Special Education Law Blog: Emergency Evacuation Should be Part of the IEP

Special Education Law Blog: School District's Gathering Information on Parents

Special Education Law Blog: School District's Gathering Information on Parents

Special Education Law Blog: Illegal Holds, Restraint and Seclusion by Nicole T. Jorwic

Special Education Law Blog: Illegal Holds, Restraint and Seclusion by Nicole T. Jorwic

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CDC Wants to Know What You Think About Autism Research - AGE OF AUTISM

CDC Wants to Know What You Think About Autism Research - AGE OF AUTISM

Bill Gates on CNN: They Kill Children (Vaccine Safety Advocates) - AGE OF AUTISM

Bill Gates on CNN: They Kill Children (Vaccine Safety Advocates) - AGE OF AUTISM

Dr. Halvorsen on Wakefield, Witch Hunts and Vaccine Safety - AGE OF AUTISM

Dr. Halvorsen on Wakefield, Witch Hunts and Vaccine Safety - AGE OF AUTISM

California Reports Tripling of Autism K-12 - AGE OF AUTISM

California Reports Tripling of Autism K-12 - AGE OF AUTISM

Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri House of Representatives

HB362 Bryce's Law Autism Scholarship Bill

Bloomberg Takes Aim at Special Ed Costs - WNYC

Bloomberg Takes Aim at Special Ed Costs - WNYC

Inclusive Child Care Offers New Option For Kids With Disabilities - Disability Scoop

Inclusive Child Care Offers New Option For Kids With Disabilities - Disability Scoop