Schools and Education

Kids with Special Needs Needed in Top Schools

The elite high schools of New York City have been put on notice. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott has mandated that screened high schools must either admit more students with special needs or the Education Department would place the teens for them in an effort to raise academic outcomes for all students.

Helping Kids Learn about Autism

When signing up my child for baseball one cold Saturday morning I asked the chairperson, "Is there a coach familiar with autism?" He responded kindly enough, "Yeah we have one that is ADHD." Wow, I thought. Autism has been around for many years, and yet it still seems the world doesn’t understand what it is. As a mother and elementary principal in Ohio, I see how autistic children need to just be understood. I thought to myself, how can I tell this baseball team about Hunter? Then, I got an idea. 

Bullying and Children with Special Needs

Bullying is a serious problem affecting many children and teens, but it is not likely that most children, especially those with special needs, will walk up to their parents and tell them, “I’m being bullied.” Bullying can involve name-calling, exclusion, or violence and should be identified and addressed as soon as possible. The ability to pinpoint the signs of bullying and take preventative measures against future incidents can make all the difference in the life and academic progress of a child with special needs.

Educational Remediation From the Brain Stem Up: An Interview With Anna Buck

Paula: Anna, I’m excited to interview you. It gives me a chance to publicly thank you for the help you gave my children and to let others know there’s healing available for kids who struggle! Could you tell us a little about Anna’s House?

Teaming Up with Your Child's Teachers

“My child has special needs.” That phrase can be uttered with either a sigh or confidence.

Which one depends upon the spirit with which the parent greets the teacher.  As an educator and administrator, I love to tell our parents that “every child has special needs.” It’s our job as educators to know the special needs and to do our professional best to meet these needs in every special needs student.

Tips to Support your Child with Selective Mutism Transition Back to School

Selective Mutism is a psychiatric disorder that affects 7 out of every 1,000 children (making it almost as common as autism), yet it is seldom dealt with within the confines of a psychotherapist’s office. It is an extreme form of social anxiety disorder where a child cannot speak in select settings, most typically at school, even though they can (usually) speak normally at home. There is little understanding and subsequently little empathy for these children who often are frozen with fear as they try to confront specific social settings.

Improving Social Interactions For Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) face significant challenges with social interaction. This stems from difficulty in reading social cues such as tone of voice and body language. Due to a tendency to commit “social errors,” children with ASD often experience teasing, bullying and social isolation. The good news is that with training and guided practice, children with ASD can develop skills to better adapt to their social world.

Special Education Advocacy and Charter Schools

Operating pursuant to a charter granted either by a local educational or the State Board of Education, charter schools are primary or secondary schools created by interested agencies and individuals and receive public money for the students who attend. Other than public schools which have become char- ter schools, charter school are attended by choice and are a popular alternative to schools operated by a local school district.

Why and When to Choose a Non Public School

The “Three R’s” are a well-worn cliché of education, and often the traditional neighborhood school will meet your child’s needs. But if you think your special needs child needs more help than their district school is providing, or the district is not implementing the child’s IEP, or the school is unable to manage your child’s behaviors, perhaps it’s time to think about a non-public school (NPS).

The Benefits of an Inclusive Classroom

In the educational field, “inclusion” means that children with and without identified disabilities are taught together in the same classroom to the greatest extent possible. Services such as speech, physical therapy, or assistive technology are provided in that classroom rather than requiring children to leave for pull-out services, thereby missing instruction. Sometimes classroom teachers provide accommodations or modifications on their own; other times, they co-teach with specialists so that all children can benefit.