Overview of Professionals in the School-Age Special Education System

Throughout your child’s academic career, he or she will come into contact with dozens of different professionals who are there for support. The list below provides an overview of some of these individuals and a description of the role they may have. Be aware that your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) will control who works directly with your child and what they do. Regular Education Teachers Depending on your child’s educational placement, your child may […]

Inclusion vs. Self-Contained Education for Children with ASD Diagnoses

The idea is not new. Including children with special needs in classrooms to learn alongside typical learners promotes the sense of a welcoming environment for all, where differences are valued and learning opportunities are accessible to all, in every classroom. Depending on where you live, the concept may be referred to as “mainstreaming,” “integration,” as well as “inclusion.” Long before the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), children with disabilities did not attend public school. […]

Placement Options for Preschool Students Receiving Special Education Services

There are a number of placement options to consider for your preschool child. The Individualized Educational Program (IEP) team – which includes you, the parent – will decide which placement or placements are appropriate. The placement decided upon by the IEP team will be paid for by the school district in which you live as part of your child’s Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). When considering an educational placement, the IEP team must decide […]

PCPID to Host Virtual and In-Person Meetings in March

The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities will be hosting a series of meetings to discuss their 2019 report to the President. All PCPID meetings are open to the public. On Monday, March 4, PCPID will host a virtual meeting from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (EST). To listen in, please dial (888) 949–2790 and use pass code 1989852. PCPID will also host an in-person meeting Thursday, March 21, and Friday, March 22, from […]

Preventing Abuse of Your Special Needs Child

Here’s a somber statistic: Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are far more likely to be abused by someone they know than a stranger. Abuse is any behavior that is unwanted, intentionally harmful, demeaning or insulting, or causes the victim to be afraid. This may include physical violence, sexual assault, bullying, emotional maltreatment or neglect. Sadly, because an individual with intellectual and developmental disability may be perceived as an “easy target,” the likelihood of abuse […]

Child Bearing and The Challenges of Intellectual Disability

By Lydia Furman, MD, Associate Editor, Pediatrics In a recently released issue of Pediatrics, Dr. Hilary Brown and colleagues from Toronto, Canada ask an important question: are mothers with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) more or less likely to have their infants placed in protective custody immediately after birth compared to mothers without such a disability (10.1542/peds.2018-1416)? The authors used several large and complete national health information databases to answer their question. A total of […]

Stranger Safety for Your Special Needs Child

When we envision a child with Down syndrome navigating the world without adult supervision, fears about encounters with strangers naturally surface. Many individuals with Down syndrome are friendly and trusting, by nature, and respond warmly to a new acquaintance, a trait that is generally celebrated by those who are privileged to meet them. But, this endearing quality creates a vulnerability that obligates parents to teach them to distinguish between acceptable, harmless exchanges with strangers and […]

2,000 Human Brains Yield Clues To How Genes Raise Risk For Mental Illnesses

Artificial intelligence model improves prediction six-fold It’s one thing to detect sites in the genome associated with mental disorders; it’s quite another to discover the biological mechanisms by which these changes in DNA work in the human brain to boost risk. In their first concerted effort to tackle the latter, 15 collaborating research teams of the National Institutes of Health-funded PsychENCODE Consortium (link is external) leveraged statistical power gained from a large sample of about […]

Film challenges IQ testing, limits placed on people with intellectual disabilities

INTELLIGENT LIVES, a documentary by award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib, has its Wyoming premiere at the Fox III Theater on January 8, 2019. INTELLIGENT LIVES stars three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities – Micah, Naieer, and Naomie – who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. Academy Award- winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional story of his son […]

Office of Community Support for Military Families With Special Needs

If your military family has a family member or child with special needs, there are numerous resources, services and programs available to help you. But where do you start? Here are some top resources. The Exceptional Family Member Program Sometimes half the battle of managing your family member’s care is knowing what resources and services are available and how to access them. The Exceptional Family Member Program, or EFMP, is a great place to begin. […]