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Showing posts from April 1, 2018

Medicaid Continues to Help Schools Help Children

by  Jessica Schubel Senior Policy Analyst School superintendents confirm Medicaid’s key role in schools, especially for children with disabilities. In a  recent survey of 1,000 superintendents , 57 percent of districts reported that they’d have trouble meeting special education mandates without Medicaid funding. That’s just one of the ways that Medicaid  helps schools and children . Without Medicaid funding to cover health care costs for Medicaid-eligible children, many schools would have to cut positions and programs, not just in health care but in general education as well. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that children with disabilities have access to public education in the least restrictive environment based on their individual needs, which for some children means getting the health care services, like speech and physical therapy, they need to get an effective education. Federal IDEA funding  isn’t adequate  to meet the special edu

Should All Nonverbal Young Children with Autism Immediately Have AAC Taught To Them?

Contributed by: Kristie Lofland, MS, CCC-A Lack of speech is often the most obvious symptom of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and greatest cause of concern for parents of young children.  For many families of children with ASD, having their child learn to talk is their primary goal.  Children with ASD who learn to use spoken language as a primary means of communication have better outcomes than those who do not (Howlin, 2005).  Children with ASD who are verbal have more opportunities for social interactions with family and peers, as well as a greater chance of participation in mainstream settings in school and community.   Fifteen years ago, experts estimated that approximately 40% of children with ASD did not acquire functional spoken language and these children had the poorest long-term outcomes.  However, many experts now estimate that the current proportion of children with ASD who do not speak is between 20-30% (Rogers, 2003). The question then is how to facilitate the e

Creating a Classroom Culture of Acceptance of Individual Differences

  Head Start Disabilities Services Newsletter A culture of acceptance is one that welcomes and includes all children. Acceptance goes beyond providing access to an early learning setting. It means being included both physically and socially as a part of the group. A culture of acceptance occurs when each child is accepted and welcomed for who they are. Inclusive experiences for children with and without disabilities and their families include a "sense of belonging and membership, positive social relationships and friendships, and development and learning to reach their full potential (DEC/NAEYC, 2009)." Read About It Ms. Lee watched as Triana and Leo played together at the sand table. The two children laughed as they built mountains and tunnels in the sand. When Triana was first enrolled in her classroom, Ms. Lee had some concerns about how the other children would respond to her and how she could create a welcoming and accepting classroom. Triana has leg bra

BDDS Person Centered Individualized Support Plan update

The Bureau of Developmental Disabilities (BDDS) is excited to announce the roll out of the new Person Centered Individualized Support Plan (PCISP).  By using the tools and philosophies of the LifeCourse Framework we have enhanced the current Individualized Support Plan to bring together a plan that will begin with an individual’s vision for a preferred life and will take the concept of self-determination from theory to practice. The PCISP should chart a path for the Individualized Support Team to follow so that they can best support individuals and families in achieving their vision for a good life. The PCISP should clearly articulate the individual’s hopes, desires and needs as well as clearly describe current life circumstances. The PCISP will help families, individuals and all persons involved in their daily life to look at the life domains that are important to a good life and recognizes the interconnectedness of everyday life. Those domains are: Daily Life and Emp