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Federal Way, WA: State "underfunded SPED"; mother worries about the future

Feb 15, 2019, Federal Way (WA) Mirror: Moms create autism art walk to benefit special needs classrooms https://www.federalwaymirror.com/news/moms-create-autism-art-walk-to-benefit-special-needs-classrooms/ When two local mothers noticed the detrimental underfunding of their kids’ special needs classrooms, they decided to turn adversity into action. … Their Federal Way classroom is an inclusive mix of students ages 3 to 5 years old. Most of the students have special needs ranging from Down syndrome to severe non-verbal autism….. Special education classrooms and programs are underfunded statewide, but Yang feels the lack right here in Federal Way. “My kids’ classroom is in need of basic supplies, touch pads, and computer programs that teach these non-verbal kids how to use sign language [and other ways to communicate],” Yang said. “All of this is extremely expensive. There is no money coming in to purchase these items. So I decided something must be done.” Thus, the Autism Auction and Art Walk event came to life. Yang and partner-in-fundraising, Tara Janicki, decided “every penny” of the proceeds will be shared between the Orting Primary Special Education Program and Children’s Therapy Center, and a preschool special education classroom at Adelaide Elementary School…. When Yang hired Tara to make a birthday cake a few years ago, the two moms hit it off and found out they have a lot in common. Tara’s son also has autism, diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. … For kids with sensory difficulties, there will be a sensory area to escape the party if things become too overwhelming, Yang said. … “My son will need care for his lifetime, that thought is horrifying as a parent,” she said.What happens when myself and his dad are not here anymore? How will he function? Will he have the skills to ask for food? To say he is cold? Or he is hurt?”