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How Autism is Reshaping Special Education: The Unbundling of IDEA
     

How Autism is Reshaping Special Education: The Unbundling of IDEA

by Mark K. Claypool, John M. McLaughlin
 
Special education in the United State is based on the concept of access—public schools are open to all children. But access is no longer a sufficient foundation. Approaches and accommodations that lead to academic success are increasingly demanded for those with learning disabilities. Functional, independent-living, and employable skills are requisite, but rare,

Overview

Special education in the United State is based on the concept of access—public schools are open to all children. But access is no longer a sufficient foundation. Approaches and accommodations that lead to academic success are increasingly demanded for those with learning disabilities. Functional, independent-living, and employable skills are requisite, but rare, for those with serious handicapping conditions. Since the last reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, four events have transpired that will have a dramatic impact on the next iteration of the federal law: the increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism, the rise of applied behavior analysis, the birth of social media, and the reality of unbundling. In How Autism Is Reshaping Special Education: The Unbundling of IDEA, Claypool and McLaughlin explore the effect of these events on a special education process burdened by regulation, where advances in the behavioral sciences and neurosciences blur the lines between education and medicine, and where social media fosters aggressive advocacy for specific disabilities.

Editorial Reviews

Eric G. Kurtz
An extremely comprehensive and well-rounded collection of perspectives on the complex factors that have shaped the context in which autism services are provided as well as the important issues that must be addressed in order to move the needle on improving outcomes for children with ASD and their families.
Sarah Trautman-Eslinger
Mark K. Claypool and John M. McLaughlin systematically examine how the increased diagnostic rate of autism, the emergence of autism advocacy and Autism Speaks in particular, and the passage of autism insurance mandates have radically shifted the way in which our society views disability. How Autism is Reshaping Special Education makes it very clear that sweeping, meaningful policy change is imperative in the next reauthorization of IDEA. Claypool and McLaughlin make a compelling argument that IDEA must be unbundled in order to increase opportunities and outcomes for all children with disabilities.
Amy K. Weinstock
How Autism is Reshaping Special Education is a thoughtful analysis of the current ‘square peg, round hole’ context that creates so many challenges and barriers for students with autism. It provides rational and practical suggestions that will hopefully inform change and maximize outcomes for people with autism.
Kirkus Reviews
2017-03-07
A snapshot of the state of special education, 50 years after the launch of what became the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Claypool and McLaughlin (We're In This Together, 2015) here provide an accessible crash course on the history of special ed. In the main, they leave the talking to a range of national experts that they've interviewed, but they bolster their arguments with verifiable, current data from government agencies and anecdotal testimony about families' experiences within the system. The authors are executives at ChanceLight, which provides behavioral health, educational, and therapy services for young people with autism and other disorders, and their entrepreneurial bent shows in this book. For example, they write that educational reform must take a leaf from business reform, citing Uber, Airbnb, and artisanal food producers as examples of "unbundling," or moving from global to local ideas. (Some readers may counter, however, that far more Americans rely on global firms, such as Target, McDonald's, and Wal-Mart.) The authors go on to argue that the efficacy of special education, especially for autism spectrum disorders, has been undermined by regulations. Programs vary from state to state, they say, and law-enshrined individualized education programs aren't always followed; roughly half of the states don't meet legal requirements in this area, they say. The book often quotes spokespeople from the advocacy organization Autism Speaks, because the authors deem it "a business disruptor whose innovations revolutionized the landscape"; less fully explored, however, is that group's controversial standing in the disability community. Similarly, the book heavily features the benefits of applied behavior analysis and only partly balances them with dissenting voices that argue that autism, as a neurological problem, requires a multidisciplinary approach. The book's recommendations for reform—such as a rethinking of definitions of "normal"—aren't groundbreaking. However, the book finishes optimistically, and overall, it should motivate all parents of children with special needs. An often valuable, if not comprehensive, overview of special education's successes and shortfalls.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781475834970
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
02/22/2017
Pages:
154
Sales rank:
982,131
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Mark Claypool is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy and Education, the nation’s leading provider of behavior, physical, occupational and speech therapy and alternative and special education programs for children and young adults. In 2015, along with John M. McLaughlin, he published We’re In This Together: Public-Private Partnerships in Special and At-Risk Education (Rowman & Littlefield), which won an IPPY award for education commentary/theory and was an Indie finalist in the education category.

John M. McLaughlin, PhD, is a school founder, professor, and researcher. McLaughlin is the author of The Last Year of the Season (North Star Press, 2014), a tale of education intrigue in fictional St. Luke, Minnesota. In 2015, along with Mark K. Claypool, he published We’re In This Together: Public-Private Partnerships in Special and At-Risk Education (Rowman & Littlefield), which won an IPPY award for education commentary/theory and was an Indie finalist in the education category.

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