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Directors Corner September 2018

September 27th, 2018

As I sat down to write this month school has been open for a bout two weeks we have been to the Back to School meeting with most of the state’s Special Ed Directors, and the number of calls are up as families run into the issues that come with the start of the new year.

One of the more common problems that seems to show up every year centers on school resources and especially starting the year without the related service providers our kids need. One mom called to ask what can be done because for the third year in a row her son’s school had no speech and language pathologist and the school was unsure when she would be replaced. Another had gotten a call two weeks before school to say the Occupational Therapist had taken a new joband t would take at least a few weeks to replace her. Three days later she was called again, the speech teacher had also left.

This is a tough problem. Our kids need and are entitled to the services these folks provide, but we have little leverage to insist the schools provide them when they lose personnel who are difficult to replace. Worse, if we push too hard we risk alienating administrators who may actually be working very hard to solve the problem.

So, what is to be done? One solution would be to set up regional collections of professionals who could be on retainer and available to fill needs in a short time. Connecticut has six Regional Educational Service Centers (RESCs) who may be able to administer this. All that is needed is the will and the understanding of the need to fund a solution.

There is something you can do to help this and other chronic problems we face. Next month the Bureau of Special Educations and the RESCs working with CPAC are having a series of Regional Special Education Forums in each of the six regions. You can find more information about these forums at : http://www.cpacinc.org/2018/09/open-forum-for-parents-of-students-with-disabilities/or call us for more information.

These forums are designed to give parents the opportunity to discuss and highlight the issues they and their children face in schools. Each region will have tow meetings one in the morning and one in the evening, and as long as you are willing to drive a little you are not limited to attend only the forum in your region.

Things get better when parents speak out about what is going on and offer suggestions on how to make things better. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity and share your knowledge and experience so those at the state, and those who work to provide services in your area will be sure to do their work knowing what families need.