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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Friday, January 20, 2012

Redefining Autism

What do you think would be the effect of changing the way that we define autism?  Looks like we will soon find out.  The front page of today's New York Times summarizes proposed changes to the DSM which have been the topic of conversation for months.  What they want to do is narrow the definition in a way that would, effectively, weed out the "higher-functioning" (and I use that term cautiously) individuals and capture those with more severe forms of autism.  People previously diagnosed with Asperger's or PDD might no longer be recognized as having autism.  There is disagreement about how many people would be excluded as a result of the changes.  It seems to me that it would be a significant chunk of the autism population.  And even if it is mathematically a small percentage, aren't they still entitled to receive therapeutic services - whether it be because they struggle socially, emotionally, or in some other way?  To the extent that a diagnosis is a sine qua non for receiving services, where does it leave those people who were previously diagnosed but from whom that diagnosis was stripped?