A Tale of Two Schools: Inclusive Culture Created With Purpose

It can be difficult to educate students with disabilities in an innovative and effective way. But NCLD recently visited two very different schools that were doing just that. These schools serve two very different populations, in two different parts of the country. We found an important commonality, though: an inclusive culture that was created with purpose. NCLD has been working to identify promising 21st-century learning practices in schools. We’re focused on how these practices serve […]

Varied State Criteria May Contribute to Differences in Percentages of Children Served

What GAO Found Differences in states’ eligibility criteria and the difficulty of identifying and evaluating some children suspected of having disabilities may contribute to differences in the percentages of children receiving special education services across states. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the primary federal special education law, requires states to have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all children with disabilities residing in the state who need special education services are […]

ABLE Accounts and Special Needs Trusts Can Be a Winning Combination

This article was written by The Special Needs Alliance (SNA). The Special Needs Alliance is a national organization comprised of attorneys committed to helping individuals with disabilities, their families and the professionals who serve them. Learn more about the SNA: www.specialneedsalliance.org.  ABLE accounts and special needs trusts (SNTs) are both financial tools for managing funds without affecting an individual’s eligibility for such means-tested programs as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). But that’s pretty much […]

Putting The Brakes On Rage

It is important to understand where rage (or intermittent explosive disorder) comes from. It is not just the result of bad parenting or the child not trying hard enough. It is also not just an example of the child being manipulative, calculating, or choosing to behave badly. Rage is the natural reaction that all people have when they are overloaded beyond their capacity to cope. Most people rarely, if ever, reach that point though. These […]

ABLE Accounts 2019: Top Questions

What are the ABLE savings limits for 2019? ABLE accounts are protected savings opportunities for people who have a significant disability with an onset prior to age 26. For 2019, friends and family can contribute up to $15,000 directly into an ABLE account. ABLE account owners who work, and do not have an employer- sponsored retirement account, may save up to $12,140 in additional savings from their earnings. Can I save income within ABLE to […]

Becoming A Family Advisor: Are you a parent that wants to advocate for change?

As a parent you have much to offer, teach, and share. You bring unique experiences, perspectives, and expertise. Everyone benefits when families and providers work together to improve healthcare, education, and community life for children with special health and/or developmental needs. We hope to give you general information and guidance on what’s involved in becoming an effective family advisor, no matter what setting you choose. A family advisor is a parent or other family member who […]

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. […]

Westfield gym for kids with special needs gets new owners

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WTHR) — A gym for children with special needs is celebrating a new chapter after nearly closing. Carter’s Play Place in Westfield now has new owners. It opened nearly three years ago as an inclusive gym designed especially for kids with special needs. Indianapolis-based LEL Home Services has now purchased the operation. “This opportunity for Carter’s Play Place is a little different than the services we typically provide, so we’re very excited to […]

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 […]