The Real Purpose of Special Education

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The expressed purpose of the IDEA funding law is “to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment and independent living”

Learning reading, writing and arithmatic are not the only goals we have for our children with special needs. They are important, but the goal is also to get them independent and productive members of society.

So when districts say that poviding opportunities for students with disabilities to, say, learn to walk better even with a walker, or providing adequate after school exercise programs so that students with disabilities can enjoy good health and fitness in their adult lives, is not therir responsibility, they are full-of-it.

I have heard schools say that these activities, and others like them, are not educationally relevant because they are not academic. So, I remind Mr. Special Education Director of the PURPOSE of the IDEA.

Education is so much more, and for kids with special needs, it can be crucial to spend extra time and care in developing their abilities that will make them independent, productive, healthy, and ultimately, more happy.

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