Very Young Children with Special Needs: A Foundation for Educators, Families, and Service Providers

Very Young Children with Special Needs: A Foundation for Educators, Families, and Service Providers
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The recommendations in this policy statement create a foundation on which to build policies to support inclusion in elementary and secondary education and beyond. Implementation of this policy would essentially redefine least restrictive environment in such a way as to deny students access to the educational services they need and to which they are legally entitled. It flies in the face of IDEA and should be abandoned. It does not have to be a state school, but a regional school so that students have like-minded peers to interact with.

There was hardly anyone that wanted to interact with me as a Deaf person who is able to speak pretty good. Friends were far and few. This can be depressing for many, but luckily in high school, there were a few others that were deaf also. None of them were in my classes though except for my freshman year. LRE Lease Restrictive Environment has been misinterpreted too many times as using the nearest school as satisfying the criteria, when in fact it failed most other requirements including appropriate support services.

Honestly, i still meet kids who are sent to Deaf schools after being found in the closest or left out in the corner of the classroom at a mainstreamed school today. Imagine that? We need to save costs by using more regional or state schools that are like-minded as not all resources have to be spread out all over. For example, a county may have 20 elementary schools and most may have special services of some kind. If I were you, i would meet families and kids of such schools — autism, blind, behavioral, deaf, etc. Of all disabilities, one of the most challenging may be DeafBlind as two of their senses are gone or limited whereas others may just have one sensory challenge to deal with.

If You're an Educator

Also, do consider our existing laws as we do not need more contradictions. Only clarity is what we ask.

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Growing up, I attended my local public school. I could speak well, and managed to understand most of my teachers through lipreading and did well academically. After several years of that bullying, I asked my parents to allow me to attend a school for the Deaf. Moreover, I learned how much different and enjoyable education can be when one is not learning through a third party or having to work to understand what is being said. Deaf people have a need for direct access to education unfiltered by third parties such as interpreters , direct social interaction with peers who understand them and their experiences because they share those same experiences, and opportunities to learn how to live their lives as a confident, healthy Deaf person.

IDEA mandates the provision of a continuum of educational options. Removal of this continuum is not only against the law, it is against the spirit of IDEA as it was created. I strongly urge you to not only revise your proposed guidelines, but strengthen them by providing stronger avenues to the provision of Deaf-centered education for our Deaf student population. After 44 years as an educator of deaf children I find it remarkable that I once agin find myself commenting to the United States Department of Education regarding the unique linguistic and communication needs of deaf children.

Why is this policy statement necessary? Children with disabilities are protected under IDEA and other mandates already. IDEA mandates a continuum of educational options to meet the individual needs of the child. It is also very clear in taking in to account the unique language and communication needs of a deaf child. Why then is it necessary to issue this policy statement which starts with a predetermined placement option for all children and neglects consideration of the individual needs of the child? This policy statement is dangerous for deaf children. Most deaf and hard of hearing children develop best in a peer group of like language learners and with experienced educators of the deaf.

An inclusion environment most often does not provide this.

Very Young Children with Special Needs: A Foundation for Educators, Families, and Service Providers

I join the chorus of deaf individuals, parents and educators of the deaf in opposition to this policy statement. I support the need for a continuum of services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing children because the children vary in their communication and language abilities. Again, I strongly oppose this policy statement and would encourage the U.

Department of Education and U. If there is grant money available then yes. I have worked in Special Education for over 8 years. So many children are still being forced into non inclusive environments when schools provide transportation and concentrate services offsite. All kids should be provided inclusion so they can learn from their peers, especially the most disabled. One thing missing from my years of working in this area is there is not nearly enough training and educational money going to teach the teachers or staff of those involved in these jobs.

Schools hire aides at a low pay, no training what so ever, and no benefits. Even when the schools are the LRE, without proper training of professionals and teachers it will be hard to have students be successful. Most preschools are not spending the money on qualified staff.

Without the training and support for support staff all parties will continue to be isolated. Support staff can act as a pillar of support for the child, as a bridge to parents, as an extension of the teacher. But only if they are respected, trained and empowered. Without this the whole system fails—I have seen it. And the biggest loser in this situation is the child, as they fall behind another year, never to make it up.

I hope I can provide additional help to encourage this in the future! We agree that all children deserve the best and most inclusive start in life and that experiences in the youngest years impact the success of all children in school, career and life. We appreciate the continued collaboration between the two departments to focus on achieving the best outcomes for children in the birth to five space as has been our experience with implementation of the Federal Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting MIECHV program.

And, we appreciate the work to develop recommendations to states and programs. And, there must be a concerted focus on staffing, training and ongoing professional development. Re-allocating resources and braiding funding streams might help in reaching the inclusion goals of this policy statement, but only if there were sufficient resources and funding streams at the outset. The challenges to inclusion outlined in the statement are real and overcoming them will take time and funding.

For one example, staffing, training, and ongoing professional development of the early childhood workforce—including family, friend, and neighbor care providers that are the most common providers of non-parental care in the US—bears a significant cost. Robust investment in the early care workforce is a critical foundation to facilitate inclusion. Similarly, additional resources must be targeted towards making comprehensive services available in every community. Opening up this national dialogue through dissemination of the policy statement and requesting community feedback is a good step towards helping serve more children in inclusive programs that are high quality.

PEAK has been a leader for over 30 years in sharing evidence-based inclusive practices for families and professionals.

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Neural Tube Defects. Baril, E. Marketplace prices Summary. Purchase of this product will grant access to an eTextBook on VitalSource. HEATH participates in national conferences, training sessions, and workshops; develops training modules; publishes resource papers, fact sheets, directories, and website information; and fosters a network of professionals in the arena of disability issues. Hearing Impairments.

Department of Health and Human Services and U. Department of Education. PEAK Parent Center has seen first hand the benefits of inclusive education, including inclusive early childhood experience. Most of PEAK staff are parents of children with disabilities that have had the benefits of inclusive early childhood education and have had many inclusive life experiences. We hear from parents every day that are navigating the education system, some share the successes of inclusion and some are still working within their schools and communities to realize inclusive opportunities but one thing is clear families want inclusive early childhood experience for their young children with disabilities.

Early childhood programs help families build the confidence they need to advocate for inclusive schools and communities, as their children grow. These early learning experiences are the building blocks for inclusive elementary schools, secondary schools, inclusive post secondary and most importantly inclusive lives, in which people with disabilities live rich, active lives participating as full members of their schools and communities.

Currently the OSEP data collection does not distinguish between a child attending a regular education early childhood program that is provided by the school district in either a public or private setting and one that is provided by the parents. PEAK has been a beacon of hope for families as we have strongly supported early childhood inclusion for the past 30 years and we are pleased to see the progress made in this field.

We commend HHS and ED on this important joint policy statement that will help us as we continue to work with families, school districts, and typical early childhood programs in Colorado. I always tell people that I am actually 7 years younger than my age mentally and socially because I did not develop strong social skills when I attended middle school and high school with regular hearing students.

Growing up as an oral deaf child, I have lived through the difficult communication mazes when I went to a nursery school with hearing peers and then onto Kindergarten in a public school.

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I was totally bored and lost because I did not always understand what people said or when I did understand, I already missed critical points. I was very fortunate to have strong communication at home with my family.

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Thankfully, I attended a school for the deaf from the ages of 7 to 10 where I thrived happily with deaf peers. I was able to talk with them every day and ask my teachers questions.

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I felt at home.