New Mission

New Mission

My mission is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues.

I would like to visit and observe different types of schools that have proven records of success, wherever those schools may be. I would like to meet with school directors and administrators, government officials, leaders in the business world, and others who are responsible for implementing education systems or otherwise connected to education to learn more about how education is being addressed in their communities.

If you know of any remarkable schools in other parts of the world (especially special needs schools), please let me know about them. If you know of any education experts who are engaged in remarkable work in this field, please introduce me to them.

Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas regarding the above. Read more about my mission here.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Paraprofessional Services for Students with Autism

When will the New York City public school system be capable of meeting the educational needs of children with autism?  The jury is still out but school districts have gotten creative in dealing with parents on this issue.  One school district in NYC recently said to a parent of a child with autism that: (a) a one-to-one paraprofessional is not available to a child in a classroom as small as a 6:1:1, and (b) a paraprofessional is available only for students suffering from "behavioral crises" and not a child who has difficulty with attention, focusing and staying on task.  Neither of these contentions is true.  What the school district isn't saying is that federal law guarantees every child the supportive services required to help that child benefit from special education instruction.  The DOE's own handbook states that special education instruction includes paraprofessional services and describes them as 'placement neutral' services because they can be provided in any type of classroom, including a 6:1:1.  And if the school district is unwilling to provide a full-time para to keep this child on-task and focused, it better be able to offer a more supportive type of classroom (and it is doubtful that it can).