Funding for children with Disabilities; a letter from the National Center from Learning Disabilities
Fact: Schools are punishing kids with disabilities at higher rates than other students.
Now the U.S. Department of Education is doing something about it. They’ve provided guidance for schools to make discipline fairer and decrease suspensions and expulsions:
Read how the new guidelines affect your child - here - http://www.ncld.org/ld-insights/blogs/government-gives-new-guidance-on-school-discipline-but-what-about-students-with-disabilities?utm_source=ldaction_jan_23_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_content=text&utm_campaign=ldaction
Get advice from a mother whose child was labeled as “disruptive” here - http://www.ncld.org/learning-disability-resources/special-needs-stories/parent-stories/african-american-mother-be-wary-disruptive-label?utm_source=ldaction_jan_23_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_content=text&utm_campaign=ldaction
Fact: President Obama signed the federal budget, but the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is still not fully funded.
Money isn’t everything, but schools need the right resources so they can provide special education services. To help you understand the stakes, we’ve put together a brief update about which education programs got funded and which didn’t here - http://www.ncld.org/ld-insights/blogs/budget-update-idea-not-fully-funded-but-special-ed-research-increases?utm_source=ldaction_jan_23_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_content=text&utm_campaign=ldaction
At the end of the month, President Obama gives his state of the Union. Among the many things needed to be discussed, one vital issue is that the President should promise to fully fund IDEA in the next 10 years and the National Center for Learning Disabilities is asking Congress to sign a letter urging him to do so.
Awareness of the needs of students with learning and attention issues is growing—for proof, check out the new Congressional resolution on dyslexia here http://www.ncld.org/learning-disability-resources/ld-in-the-news?utm_source=ldaction_jan_23_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_content=text&utm_campaign=ldaction
It’s time to turn that awareness into real gains for our kids.
GET INVOLVED! HELP OUR CHILDREN! Click here: http://www.ncld.org/disability-advocacy??utm_source=ldaction_jan_23_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_content=text&utm_campaign=ldaction
We have to be mindful that while Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is integrated into how first responders; Early Intervention Providers, CPSE, and CSE work within their interventions and disciplines, it does not address the whole of the motivations of a child’s behavioral difficulties.
Behavior is over determined. That is, there are many reasons behaviors come into being. Behavioral issues are not necessarily a function of developmental delays such as sensory, motor, speech, or cognitive delay. While these delays may contribute to the behavioral problems, how much they contribute is an unknown until interventions have had a chance to enable the child to reach their developmental potential. Interventions might resolve the behavioral difficulties, reduce them, or have no effect. At times, the behavioral difficulties could be so significant that the first responders are not able to clinically intervene as the behaviors interfere with their intervention and the child’s learning.
I often find that parents who have children who have special needs, may have been good enough parents with a typical child. However, because the child has special needs, parents are not sure how to adjust their parenting to meet the needs of the child. In some cases, the parents have significant internal conflicts and don’t use the best approach as they draw on their experience from their parents. A parent of a special needs child has to be a better parent then most as they constantly have to adjust their expectations to the reality of their child’s abilities. This is no easy process. A parent’s ability to adjust their parenting style is pretty limited in most cases. A parent’s ability to adjust to their child’s needs, will depend in large part how traumatic the parent’s childhood was. In extreme cases, where Grandparents were emotionally or physically abusive; emotionally disturbed, and/or a grandparent may have been physically and/or emotionally absent, among many other potential issues, the now parent is not likely to be able to adjust to the emotions and developmental abilities of their special needs child.
In typical children with parents who have had a poor parenting experience, the child calls for help by acting out either physically, socially, or verbally. When the child has special needs, the call for help can be masked by his/her other developmental issues. There is the notion that the interventions are going to resolve, not only the developmental issues, but the behavioral issues as well. However, there is a larger context that must be considered when addressing behavioral difficulties in children. For example:
Consider the impact on a special needs child where a parent;
The interventions of speech, OT, PT, and ABA would not necessarily be addressing this child’s emotional development and needs.
Consider the possibility of a child in preschool who is constantly disrupting the classroom routines, is always in motion, and not attending. Ah, ha! ADD/ADHD, I knew it! But consider the possibility at that within this child’s first 4 years of life a sibling is born with cancer.
Are behavioral interventions going to stop the demonstrated behaviors? If applied expertly, they can and should. Are we ready to move on without addressing the emotional communications of the behavior?
When clinicians are presented with a child exhibiting behaviors they set up positive contingencies to get the child to cooperate, engage, and learn. If they are on target the treatment outcome will be a success. If a clinician to able to gain the attention and work successfully with a child a parent would be well advised to watch the interaction and ask; “Why their child works with the clinician and does not act out?” Alternatively a parent can ask the clinician; “Why they think the child acts out at home?” The parent can ask themselves the last question as well. If they are able to both listen to the response and learn to respond differently than the acting out behaviors might diminish.
Another potentially helpful tactic for the Parent is to ask the clinician if they can watch and then practice working with their child in the treatment session. Ask the clinician to tell you honestly what you are doing right and wrong and provide suggestions how to do things differently.
When behaviors don’t stop we can assume there is a problem behind the identified need(s). In conversations with other clinicians and parents, I’ve heard statements, “The child is still acting out.” Or, “His mother gets into fights with him in the waiting room.” An honest dialogue with your child’s clinician could go a long way in resolving a child’s acting out.
By looking at the larger context (the parents’ parenting and the parents’ feelings about their own parents, as well as their feelings, attitudes, and thoughts about their child) the emotional communication(s) and needs of the whole family can be addressed.
It is my hope that in working with parents and first responders we can look beyond ABA and while behaviorally addressing the acting out, address these other motivators for a child’s difficult behavior(s). We can discuss how to emotionally intervene to resolve the behavioral issues from the inside at the same time we are addressing the manifest behaviors on the outside.
I am always available to work with parents and first responders to privately discuss concerns about a child. I find great joy in talking with parents and my colleagues, learning about their lives and work, and supporting them to help their children.
Adam J. Holstein, P.D., L.P.
Recently in Florida, there was a story on the evening News (as a previous Broadcast Talent Agent, not the greatest broadcasting) that featured a mother complaining of the lack of work for her young adult son/daughter with Autism. They did not clarify severity or whether or not he/she is verbal or non-verbal which are characteristics that should be important in looking for work.
Anyway, this got me thinking for a few reasons. First, I realized that number one, it is not easy in this environment to find work for any working individual. My ex boyfriend couldn't find a job for 5 years and fed off of my living. He's still looking for work. Using your child's diagnosis to get something out of it is looked upon as poor taste.
Secondly I thought to myself, "I'd never done a search nor paid any attention to resources for work for the Adult with Autism so I wonder how easy it is to find." Shame on the Reporter who did the story for not doing their research as well as the mother in the story who apparently was just trying to bring attention to her son/daughter b/c a quick google search brought me tons of resources and ideas on getting a job for your son/daughter with Autism.
Now, as I stated in the beginning, getting a job, or certain jobs, depends on the adult's severity and verbal skills. Had she not done her research, as proven, and tried to get jobs at certain places where they cannot hire Adult's with Autism b/c their behaviors will interfere with business then she may have been discouraged and thought there were no places willing to hire Adult's with Autism.
Every autistic child I've ever worked with has had some kind of talent, whether working well with computers or something as simple as drawing well. As we do in therapy, the parent should draw from that talent and build upon it to find a job that's appropriate for them even if they have to create it themselves!
Lori Ireland told USA today that she and a handful of other parents in Chapel Hill, N.C., wanted their teenage children to be able to have jobs someday. So, like an increasing number of parents with children on the autism spectrum, Ireland and her peers set out to employ them themselves. Their non-profit Extraordinary Ventures businesses, including one cleaning city buses and another making candles and other gifts, now employs 40 people with developmental disabilities in the Chapel Hill area.
If you are not able or willing to create jobs for your Autistic child or Adult, below are just a few resources among the many found at http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/community-connections/employment-opportunities-individuals-autism
CLICK ON THE TITLE TO GET MORE RESOURCES
Amy Reinstein, M.S., CCC - SLP