Do you have a child with Autism or other disabilities that is currently not receiving a free appropriate public education (FAPE), despite your continued advocacy? Would you like to learn about a few school causes to help you in your advocacy? This article will be discussing 10 school reasons why few children in special education truly receive a free appropriate public education, that is required by federal special education law.
1. Many schools require parents to pay for independent educational evaluations (IEE) to prove that their child needs related and special education services. If parents are paying for experts to help them determine needed services for their child, the education is not free.
2. Most school district evaluations are not comprehensive enough to identify all of a child’s disabilities. Disabilities must be known before appropriate services can be determined.
3. The continual use of deny and/or delay tactics by many special education personnel prevent children from receiving an appropriate education.
4. Special education personnel sometimes refuse to take responsibility for a child’s lack of educational progress. Blaming the parent and child is a prevalent tactic that harms children.
5. The use of old antiquated non-scientifically based research in curriculums used to teach children. IDEA 2004 and No Child Left Behind do not allow this, but lack of enforcement is causing schools to continue this practice.
6. Minimal remediation given for children’s disabilities, in academic and functional areas. As children get older many schools want to use modifications for disabilities, rather than offer remediation.
7. Predetermination by many special education personnel of services that will be offered to children. This practice harms children by not taking their individual disabilities into account as is required by IDEA 2004.
8. Low expectations by most school personnel prevent children from learning academics that they need for their adult life.
9. Lack of teacher training in scientifically research based curriculums is harming children and preventing them from receiving FAPE.
10. Failure of many school districts to deal with negative behavior in the research based way, but continue the use of suspensions and expulsions. Functional Behavioral Assessments, development and use of positive behavior plans have been shown by research to work to increase a child’s positive school behavior, while decreasing their negative school behavior.
What could change this for children with disabilities? If school districts would work with parents to determine a child’s disabilities, educational needs, and offer remediation that is scientifically research based more children would receive an appropriate education. Also, educating school staff on research based ways of dealing with negative behavior, and teaching deescalating techniques to help children. Expectations must be high for all children with disabilities so that they will be prepared for post school learning, jobs and independent living.