Parents push for more special needs resources
Last Updated: 279 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - State lawmakers are crafting a bill to help public schools better deal with children who have special needs, including autism.
Indiana is currently one of 19 states without procedures governing how public schools should restrain or seclude students with special needs who have outbursts.
House Bill 1318 would provide training for teachers and administrators and require all districts to have procedures in place.
Parents of children with special needs said a lot needs to be done to improve how public schools deal with children with autism, especially since one in 83 babies born in Indiana is now diagnosed with autism.
"(My son) went to township schools, but their funding obviously isn't enough, and the help he was getting wasn't enough," said Jim Monroe of his son, Evan.
The boy now attends the Applied Behavior Center for Autism, and the difference has been night and day, his father said.
"He doesn't get as frustrated. He's able to tell us what he wants, and he's not afraid of people," Monroe said. "It's a huge difference."
At private centers, like the Verbal Behavior Center for Autism, students get one-on-one therapy to help them excel.
"I think the public schools do that the best job they can with the services they have," said Breanne Hartley, the clinical director. "The educators have their heart in the right place, but the resources aren't currently there."
Although insurance can help families pay for private centers, the facilities can still be cost prohibitive for many. Eighty-two percent of children diagnosed with autism attend public school, statistics show.
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