New Mission

New Mission

My idea is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues. I’d like to see different successful schools, wherever they may be, up close. I’d like to sit down with directors and administrators. I’d like to speak with government officials who keep a pulse on the education affairs of their communities. I want to learn more about education around the globe through speaking with locals, seeing the schools, and shaking hands with the people responsible for implementing the systems. If you know of any outstanding (public or private) special needs schools in other parts of the world, I’d love to hear about them. If you know any education experts from around the world, I’d love to be introduced to them. Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas. Read more about my mission.

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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).