State orders probe of special ed system that ‘sounds…broken’

Feb 3, 2017 by

 

When educators were unable to help Susan Davis’s 8-year-old autistic son calm down at school, he was put into a four- by six-foot, custom-built box.

Davis and her husband were unaware their son was being regularly restrained and secluded until she visited his classroom so she could get a more complete picture of the education he was receiving.

“We had no idea that this was happening to my child. My son was never able to articulate any these events to us,” Davis, from north central Connecticut, told the State Board of Education Thursday. “If we did not have access to observations, who knows how long this would have continued for.”

Seventy-one parents of special education students who have had limited or no access to their children’s classroom are begging the State Department of Education to remove barriers they say their local schools have put in place that effectively keep them – and outside experts they consult – from observing.

Parents can consult independent experts when they do not agree with school staff about what special education services their child needs.

Depending on the district, restrictions may onclude limiting visits to one 30-minute observation every other month, requiring that experts be certified by the state education department in a specific specialty area, mandating that experts have liability insurance, and requiring the parents of every student in the class to sign off before an expert can visit.

One parent whose child was struggling with speech and reading wanted to consult an expert from Haskins Laboratories, which is affiliated with Yale University, but was told their staff wasn’t qualified.

 

Source: State orders probe of special ed system that ‘sounds…broken’ | The CT Mirror

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