On Tuesday, an 8-year old boy with severe Autism was found alive in the woods in California after he had been missing for more than 24 hours. Rescue workers as well as family members searched for little Joshua Robb in the woods, playing familiar music and recordings of his father's voice throughout the search area in an effort to find him. Joshua has a severe language delay and the workers feared he may not respond to rescuers voices.
Assistive technology or "AT" is a global term that is used to describe any device that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functioning of a person with a disability. This can include low tech devices such as picture cards or high tech devices that can detect an individual's eye movements and generate speech. It includes devices that can assist with an individual's hearing, mobility, vision, communication, and motor abilities.
Perfect vision does not simply mean that your child can see 20/20. Vision is the ability to take in visual information, process it, and understand what it means. It includes eyesight, tracking objects, how well the eyes work together, and focus. It includes color vision, depth perception, and peripheral vision. The standard eye chart in the doctor's office, or the school's routine vision screening only tests how well a child can recognize a black letter against a white background from 20 feet away. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
Sensory integration refers to the way that we perceive, process, and respond to the world. A problem with sensory integration can affect any part of that chain of events and ultimately lead to problems with learning. However, it may be difficult to detect a possible sensory integration issue because it is often masked as behaviors that can be mistaken for attention deficit disorders, or even as noncompliance.
Have you ever been confused by what is meant by a behavioral plan? The terms, Behavioral Intervention Plan, Positive Behavior Plan, and Behavior Support Plan are used interchangeably by many educators. However, legally, there is only one that has a set criterion that the schools must follow. It is called the Behavioral Intervention Plan, or BIP.
You might have heard that the AB3632 School-Based Mental Health services currently available to special education students were affected by the new California budget. This is true. Below is a quick summary of about 50 pages of budgetary language:
It is well understood that parents may be entitled to reimbursement for the private placement of their child if they can prove the public school district denied their child a Free and Appropriate Public Education ("F.A.P.E.") and that their child received educational benefit from the private placement. The June, 2009, Forest Grove School District v. T.A. decision by the Supreme Court was an important decision answering a question that has been debated for many years.