The San Francisco Chronicle has a major report today entitled “Autism Threatens to Overwhelm Schools.” I have some objections to some of the assertions in the article, but on the whole, Nanette Asimov got it right. Here is an excerpt from the letter to the editor I wrote in response:
(A)fter decades of underfunding from the state and Federal government, a focus on fighting parents rather than partnering with them, and a general failure to keep up with evidence-based practices, special education programs in many districts (including San Francisco) are in crisis. Parents are angry, teachers are overwhelmed, and students are getting less than they need.
The full letter is here.
Thanks for the comment, Charlie. I agree that the ATM comment was unnecessary and divisive. I guess I was glad to see the report highlight the fact that there is no leadership from the state of California on this issue, and in that context it’s not at all surprising that California districts (including my own) take a scattershot, biased and ultimately inadequate approach to teaching children with autism.
Rachel: I can appreciate your blog posting but I take a different view of Ms. Asimov’s article. I think she is in fact creating excuses for the poor performance of schools and does not get the system. See my blog on this story which I found to be most distressing at specialedlaw.blogs.com.