Restraint and Seclusion: The Dark Secret of American Schools

I recently examined the events in Newtown through the lens of special education in this country, contending it is a broken system in need of as much attention as gun control and mental health. Out of that sprang a question in my mind, “In the last year, how many special needs children died in our [...]

Dan Marino Foundation Starting College for Special Needs Students

The Dan Marino Foundation, a fixture in South Florida since 1992, has recently announced plans to start a college for those with autism and other special needs. According to a Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel article published last month, the school will be the first-of-its-kind in Florida and assist those with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy [...]

Student with Autism Mistreated, Abused with Spray Bottle

A disturbing story has emerged from Deer Park, Texas, where a teacher has been accused of verbally mocking, taunting and in some cases, abusing children with autism and other special needs. Allegations surfaced back in December at a Deer Park ISD campus, claiming the teacher verbally and physically mistreated her students. Whistleblowers eventually came to [...]

Back to School Preparation for Children with Autism

July is drawing to a close and for parents of children with autism, it’s a good time to start preparing for a child’s return to school. The more time a child has to adjust to impending changes in his or her routine, the better. Naturally, re-establishing bedtime and waking hours are of the utmost importance [...]

Addressing the Autism Education Crisis

A recent article decrying the fact that Mississippi requires no autism training for its special education teachers struck me as hardly newsworthy. The reality is that special education teacher requirements vary drastically from state-to-state and when it comes to autism, they are abysmal. As far as I could tell from my research (and I would [...]

Homeschooling Options for Children with Autism

Many parents of children on the autism spectrum are unable to find a successful place for them in the school system. Often, teachers and staff have little or no training in autism and treat our children’s symptoms as disciplinary problems rather than manifestations of sensory overload and anxiety. We may grow tired of being afraid [...]

Summer Reading for Children with Autism

Summer can be a time of stress for a child with autism and parents are mindful of not wanting their children to lose ground educationally over the long break.  Reading is an important element of the summer structure and you’ll want to create a pleasant experience outside his or her usual routines. A great way [...]

Budget Cuts Create Additional Autism Education Woes

A medley of current special education headlines paint a grim picture. In a national survey, special educators report that they are carrying a maximum caseload with diminished support and that it is increasingly difficult for them to deliver free and appropriate education as mandated by law.  Compounding the problem is the fact that federal education [...]

Students Advocate Against Bullying in Schools

Parents of children with autism are painfully aware of bullying, but often feel helpless when it comes to protecting their child in a school environment. Some wise children have taken it upon themselves to address the issue head-on. Last month in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a group of teenagers testified on bullying in their schools. They [...]

Autism Awareness Event Recreates Sensory Challenges

A wonderful story has been reported out of Kentucky where a mother of twins with autism created an event for neurotypical children at her sons’ school to experience what it’s like to have autism. During Cumberland Trace Elementary School’s Autism Awareness Day, organizers manned five different sensory stations designed to let children experience first-hand the [...]

 
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Did You Know?

  • * In 1970, Autism affected 1 out of 10,000 children
  • * Autism now affects 1 out of 88 children
  • * Autism affects 1 in 54 boys
  • * 1.7 million Americans have some form of autism
  • * 4 out of 5 autistic children are boys

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