Our guide to
a better education for your special needs child
Since we first started
our school dazes pages when IDEA was in it's baby stages in my
opinion we've tried to help you obtain as much information as we
could to assist you in having the best and most appropriate
education for your child.
A brief history about IDEA is In 1997
Congress passed the Amendments to the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act.
This Act came into existence over 20 years ago, and was to be
renewed after 20 years. The reason it came into being was
because millions of children were falling through the cracks
But the question remains
in the year 2003 what has improved. What remains to be millions
of children falling through the cracks educationally? Lets take
a brief moment to examine that.
becoming aware of their roles in their child(rens)
According to the latest updates from Wrights Law According
to the No Child Left Behind Act, schools that don’t produce
proficient scores will have to provide supplemental services
to the students through after school programs and the hiring
of extra staff that will be paid for through taxes. To read
more please visit Wrights Law
Principles for Reauthorizing IDEA.
Sec. of Education describes
"principles in the reauthorization of IDEA" - accountability
for results, expanded parental choice, a focus on what
works, simplified paperwork, and increased local
Education is not for just our elementary through high school
students learn more about Help for College students here
Help for College Students with Disabilities Flyer.
College-bound students need to learn self-advocacy skills -
how to present information about their disability and
accommodations so professors want to help. If students
master these skills, they are more likely to make a
successful transition from high school to college.
Reauthorization of IDEA2003 This being the most important
improvement because we can once again make a difference in
our children's education. Be sure you obtain these items
Special Ed Advocate,
Strengths and weaknesses of idea
Schedule of public meetings and visit the following link
to obtain more information to be an active advocate in your
Progress Report: IDEA 2002 . The Individuals with
Disabilities Act is scheduled to be reauthorized in 2002;
President establishes Commission to make recommendations
about how to improve special education outcomes; meetings
scheduled around the country.
The harsh reality about
IDEA is that not 1 single state or territory is in complete
compliance with IDEA. And according to the National Council on
Disability over half of the states violated 1 or more of the 5
most important provisions made for our children. Among the
study's other findings, two "core civil rights provisions" of
IDEA are not being followed, according to Andrew Imparato, NCD
general counsel and director of policy. Only 20 percent of
states and territories provide a "free and appropriate public
education" for students with disabilities as it is defined in
IDEA, and 72 percent fail to follow IDEA's "least restrictive
environment" guidelines. Seventy-eight percent do not have
procedural safeguards in place to ensure IDEA compliance. The
National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency
that advises the President and Congress
"The department doesn't
appear to have been very aggressive in using the tools that are
available to them over the last 24 years," he said.
Particularly, the NCD found little explanation of how, or if,
non-compliance can trigger sanctions such as the department
withholding federal funds. "The department appears to not want
to do that, but we feel that that is an important detail to lay
out to the states so they know there will be defined
consequences," Imperato said.
We come to our meeting
prepared and doing our part knowing the law to find out 3 months
down the line... "bobby isn't getting therapy" Who is not
complying? I have been told by several Nationally recognized
advocates that this is yes indeed on a state level. By what I've
researched I see that provisions are being looked at to insure
that the above averages improve. But when every state fails????
Where does the breakdown lie?
On the subject of "Least
restrictive environment" I believe for those with more
"Involved" children, that least restrictive environment might
begin by the schools providing HOME SCHOOLING when our children
are ill. During those times at school what ever is found to be
the least restrictive environment should be followed.
In the state of
Washington there is a law for education called the Becca Bill.
According to Governor Lowry's office, the purpose of the bill is
to empower parents to help their children when they have run
away or when their child's substance abuse or mental health
problems place them in serious danger of harming themselves or
others. One aspect of the bill requires that all school
districts track the number of student absences and notify
parents when their children have violated attendance policies.
This law in no way is applicable to a special needs child, the
constant threat to parents of special needs children to file a
petition against them for their child's absences is absurd. I
agree with it in the case of my child with ADHD because his ADHD
does not encompass his life and he is not incapacitated to the
point of not being accountable for his attendance and I've in
fact recently requested he be enforced to go to school but in
the same turn offering him the least restrictive environment
because he is a child with an IEP by suggesting a school that
was less crowded and would follow his educational process and
attendance more closely. His previous special education
counselor told me when I was getting his transfer paper, that he
does go to school. BUT yet he hadn't been in most of his classes
for the past four weeks and I knew this as he told me that.. I
was shocked that the counselor could tell me this. I
informed him SURE my child comes to school he lets you see him,
leaves comes back has lunch lets you see him again and leaves.
Transferring him to the new school has worked to date
successfully. But in the case of Amanda. I feel that the least
restrictive environment at times would be that when she is ill
she have home schooling. This includes therapists coming to her
home. Two different solutions for 2 very different needs of
which the Becca bill only should apply to one of them. To learn
more about the Becca bill please look at these links.
As you can clearly see
by what I've tried to show you is we've won many victories, have
educated ourselves, but we still have a long road ahead of us.
Without each and every person taking that extra step, change
will not happen and for another 20 yrs. Nothing will change and
millions more children will fall through the cracks. Please take
a moment to read all the information here at School Daze. I hope
that it can at least be a stepping stone for you.