June 28, 2018, Jackson (MS) Clarion Ledger: Mississippi school's special education services fall short, family says https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2018/06/28/tupelo-schools-faces-deadline-special-education-compliance/738711002/ Natalie Gunnells said she filed the complaint after reaching an impasse with the district concerning her child’s individual education program, or IEP, which acts as a legal contract between the school system and the child receiving services. Schools and families work together to develop the program by outlining a set of measurable goals for the student qualifying for special education services. Last December, monitors came back with two sanctions against the district. The state also ordered the district to provide the family with compensatory services to make up for the two-year period that their son had been denied an appropriate education. In response, Natalie Gunnells says the district offered four hours of applied behavioral analysis therapy, the leading treatment for individuals with autism. … Oversight officials also gave the district a timeline to review the plans of other students with special needs in the district and update the children’s parents on their progress. On June 22, 2018, MDE informed outgoing superintendent Gearl Loden the district had failed to provide evidence that it had communicated with the students’ families. In the letter, MDE warned that the district could be reported to the office of accreditation if it failed to submit the required documentation by July 6. … Genevieve McAlpin, who oversees special education for Tupelo schools, said the district will meet the deadline. July 6, McAlpin explained, is one in a series of deadlines the district has to take corrective actions. … “We were granted an extension; we are in compliance with MDE,” she told the Clarion Ledger by phone. “That’s all I’m going to say.” In 2016, the district came under scrutiny from oversight officials for failing to provide appropriate education services for a student diagnosed with autism.
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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