Archive for the ‘Education’ Category


Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013


For Release: March 12, 2013

Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566

Emergency regulations for children’s autism treatment approved

SACRAMENTO – Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the emergency regulations aimed at eliminating delays and denials of coverage for autism treatment. Commissioner Jones issued these emergency regulations to protect children diagnosed with autism and their families from the emotional, physical and financial harms caused by insurer denials or significant delays in autism treatment, which has reached crisis proportions in California.

“I am extremely pleased that the Office of Administrative Law has approved our emergency regulations,” said Commissioner Jones. “These emergency regulations will ensure that insurance companies cover medically necessary treatment required by the Mental Health Parity Act and Senator Darrell Steinberg’s autism treatment legislation. Autistic children and their families should now, without delay, receive the transformative treatment that will enable them to succeed in school, their families, and communities.”

The California Mental Health Parity Act was intended to provide adequate private health insurance coverage and benefits for mental illnesses. The legislature found that autism is one of several severe mental conditions that are seriously disabling. Failure to provide adequate coverage in private health insurance policies significantly increases expenditures by state and local government for medical treatment, special education and other services.

Later laws, such as SB 946 (Steinberg), signed by Governor Jerry Brown in October, 2011, reconfirmed the mandate for health insurers and HMOs to provide behavioral health treatment for autism. This emergency regulation is expected to benefit thousands of California’s children and families and save California taxpayers approximately $138.8 million to $197.8 million over the next year in costs that should properly be borne by insurers. These emergency regulations are the latest in a series of actions taken by Commissioner Jones to make sure autistic children can receive behavioral therapy treatment.

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Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

A unique New York City school is successfully serving kids with developmental disabilities alongside those who are typically developing by assuming that each child needs their own curriculum in order to thrive.

At The IDEAL School, children of varying abilities all learn the same topics, but each student does so at their own level with an individual lesson plan tailored to their needs. Specialized services like speech and physical therapy are provided during elective periods so that no student misses out on academics or feels different.

The school, which was started by a group of parents, is built around the idea that inclusion is merely a form of diversity. School leaders and parents say that the extremely inclusive model of education breads an environment of total acceptance where each child values the strengths of their peers.

“The kids are partners with each other. They support each other, they advocate for each other,” one parent told NBC News.”

To watch video :


Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Assembly Bill (AB) 1705 (amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 192, effective January 1, 2013) amends California Education Code (EC) sections 60852.1 and 60852.2. On January 1, 2013, the implementation date of the alternative means will be postponed until July 1, 2015, which, in effect, extends the exemption to the CAHSEE for eligible students with disabilities. The State Board may, by regulation, extend this date by up to one year if it determines that an extension is necessary for the appropriate implementation of the regulations adopted pursuant to Section 60852.1. Visit the Official California Legislative Information Web site  for up-to-date information about AB 1705.

From the CA Dept of Ed

What is California Education Code (EC) Section 60852.3?

Beginning in the 2009–10 school year, EC Section 60852.3 provides an exemption from meeting the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) requirement as a condition of receiving a diploma of graduation for eligible students with disabilities who have an individualized education program (IEP) or a Section 504 plan. The IEP or 504 plans must state that the student is scheduled to receive a high school diploma, and has satisfied or will satisfy all state and local requirements for high school graduation, on or after July 1, 2009.

Does this exemption apply to students with disabilities with IEPs or 504 plans who completed all graduation requirements, except passing the CAHSEE, and received a certificate of completion in 2008 or 2009?

Yes, students with IEPs or 504 plans who completed all graduation requirements, except passing the CAHSEE, and received a certificate of completion in 2008 or 2009, are eligible for this exemption.

“Mom Shoots Disabled Son and Self at Sunnyvale Home”

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The autism community is deeply sadden and is still reeling over the recent death of Elizabeth Hodgins, and her son, George who was diagnosed with autism.

This tragedy has lead me to open this dialogue with the autism community, and the general public at large on the state of how our families are living with this disability today, and the current state of the system which funds and provides services to this population of children and adults.  This includes:  The Department of Education, Local Education Agencies, The Government and both State and Federal Funding Institutions.

The death of this mother and son is symbolic of the struggle which parents face when trying to obtain services, and supports from our society,  especially when attempting to obtain services for pre-teens and adults.  This difficulty extends to parents attempts to enforce their childs right to a FAPE and their rights for them.

Yet has this death changed anything ? Will the power of that tragedy make a difference ? Did they die in vain ? They didn’t. We’re all deeply saddened… At a time such as this, words cannot express our feelings. But, Nothing more clearly reveals the existence of that invisible chain which links all the events of their death, therefore :

We must hold the President, to his word and insist on fully funding IDEA.

The US Secretary of Education, can no longer be complicit, in light of having held in his hands absolute proof of California Department of Education refusal to enforce the law.

The California Governor, and making himself an accomplice of this tragedy, by persisting on cutting vital disability services.

The California Legislature, in the same, by voting the cuts to vital disability services.

Finally, the California public school districts; County SELPAs, County Offices of Education; Regional Centers; The Department of Health Care Services; The California Department of Public Health; Department of Rehabilitation of knowingly covering up violations of State and Federal laws, of knowingly exposing the disabled and their parents to emotional and mental abuse, resulting in psychological trauma, anxiety, chronic depression and post traumatic stress disorder.

Let us hear what you have to say about this tragedy!!!







Autism in America: What do the new stats mean for families?

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

KUDOS to Minnesota Public Radio for it’s broadcast on the pervasiveness of Autism, and what it means for families of children living with this disability!

View Autism Answers Resources Page to listen to this dialogue, and view the latest news on this under the Article Section.

Happy Listening. . . . .and comment on our blog about the questions, concerns and input on these issues that affect you.




The New Deal In Education For Children With Autism. . . . . .

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Is the current education system working for children on the autism spectrum?  Does the IEP work?  Are you receiving a free and appropriate public education for your child? Does this education meet your child’s individual needs? Is it time for a “NEW DEAL'” in Education for children with Autism?  Parents believe there is a better DEAL for their kids and we want to know how you feel.