Dropped Balls: Early Intervention Handoff to Schools

From the NY Times: Chicago Faulted on Learning Disabilities

Under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, states must provide special education services to 3- and 4-year-olds with disabilities that impede their learning even before they are officially enrolled in school. Usually, local school districts place children in prekindergarten classes or send therapists to visit children at home. Under the law, a plan for services must be in place by a child’s third birthday.

About Sanford

Learning Disabilities specialist and Educational Consultant
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2 Responses to Dropped Balls: Early Intervention Handoff to Schools

  1. Lilin says:

    My son has struggled all of his young life with leannirg. He has been tested for everything and of course no one will confirm anything except that he has a leannirg disablilty. When he starting 3rd grade I had told him he needed to read and he told me that he did not see the need and started off to the wetlands to experience things in his own way. I knew then that it was up to me to help him see where reading and writing will take him. He needed to experience it in a way that he could understand. I did not sleep that night trying to think of a way to help Jacob. I knew the thing he loved and it was the army. So I woke with an idea of adopting him a soldier. I called around all moring until I found a website that could connect Jacob with a soldier of his own a pinpal. Two weeks later he recieved the information and he wrote his first letter. It was very short and talked about how he liked gym, recess and lunch. We waited and one day about a month later he received a letter and package from a soldier in Iraq. In the package was a camo hat and a letter telling Jacob that gym, lunch and recess was fun but reading and math were important too. Jacob was so excited he wrote another letter. This is from a child who saw no reason to write or read. At the holidays we approached the school to collect items for the soldiers. The response from the school was knowing Jacob he could not handle it ..I was so angry ..Here was something that was helping my son in the very thing that they wanted him to learn??? I was confused that they would say he could not. This is what Jacob faced everyday in school. Of course he saw no reason to try they had already labeled him. So we started to do it in the class only. The local paper got wind of it and than the Denver TV Station and when the TV Station came to the school to do a story the school allowed it to be school wide. Jacob sent off 33 boxes of supplies to the soldiers. We continued to send boxes and the Today Show called and flew Jacob to New York to be on the Today Show. Here was an 8 year old boy who everyone had given up on in New York City on TV because he worte to his soldier. Jacob told me on the last day in New York that he did not want to leave. I told him Think about what got you here. Reading and writing. Just think were it will take you next time Jacob did it in his own way, in a way that made since to him. He experienced it. He needed to learn it in the way that made since to him. He does not learn the way others do. Since he went to New York he has continued to communicate with the soldiers and even sent 10 boxes of stuffed toys to the children in an Iraq school. He even met his soldier. It is a journey and sometime a struggle to help Jacob see what he can do when the world around him tries to find ways to continue to knock him down. Do not give up on your special learner. They have so much more to offer the world then educations will ever understand. Just becuase they learn different does not mean they cannot make a difference in this world. Jacob did!!!!!!!!

  2. Sanford says:

    Lilin,
    Thanks for writing in. That’s a great story. In order to get unstuck and develop new habits, people (kids) need a compelling reason “why.”

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