The right to an education is guaranteed to all students, regardless of disability, by federal law. But experts and parents are now wondering if we are doing enough to help autistic students maximize their abilities to live their best possible lives. We discuss the current status of public schooling for students with autism and how the systems in place can be optimized to help students grow even more.
Mark Claypool, CEO of ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy & Education and co-author of How Autism is Reshaping Special Education
Due to federal law, all kids are guaranteed the right to an education. But, this education has proven to be limited for students with special needs, especially students with autism. With the increased number of autism diagnoses, it is becoming more important to provide these children with an education that will benefit their future.
With special education, not all students require the same curriculum. Mark Claypool, CEO of ChanceLight Behavioral Health and co-author of How Autism is Reshaping Special Education, explains that students with autism would benefit from much more intensive services that are often applied in behavioral therapy, as well as other services, like speech and language therapy. He further explains that studies show that if you begin working with an autistic child early in their life that it can help the child grow into an independent adult. However, the current structure of school days do not allow for these services to easily fit into a regular school day.
Yet, this should not hinder the education system from working to change their special needs programs. Claypool believes that pursuing a better system is a worthwhile endeavor because special needs education already benefits from teachers who truly want to be there and the inclusivity of these programs. In order to aid autistic children in reaching their full potential, it is important that they are given the opportunity to receive a beneficial education.
Mark Claypool, CEO of ChanceLight Behavioral Health and co-author of How Autism is Reshaping Special Education
If you came upon a rundown, roach-infested bunkhouse in the heartland of America, full of middle-aged and elderly men in poor health who worked all day at a job for little pay and had been for decades, you might think you had time traveled back to the 19th century. We talk to an author who writes about this very situation where mentally challenged men had been pressed into servitude in 1974 and remained there until 2009 when some determined and caring social workers stepped in to help them.