Law to provide parents a Down syndrome information kit is signed

by Marie McCullough – Pennsylvania has joined a small but growing number of states requiring that a Down syndrome diagnosis be accompanied by useful, accurate information about the genetic disorder. The Down Syndrome Prenatal and Postnatal Education Act, effective Oct. 1, mandates that medical practitioners give expectant or new parents “informational publications,” to be provided […]

More graduation options for special-ed students after system overhaul

by Jessica Williams – A committee for Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved an overhaul of state special-education programs Tuesday (Aug. 12), after much debate. A significant change approved gives students an alternate route to a high school diploma. Under that move, which was authorized by state lawmakers in the legislative session, the […]

ABA therapy to be covered by insurance provider, judge rules

by Kristian Foden-Vencil – A federal judge in Portland has ruled that Providence Health Plans cannot deny coverage to autistic children for a specific kind of treatment.  The judge said that the insurer’s effort to deny that coverage violated both federal and state laws. Many parents of autistic children swear by what’s called “Applied Behavior […]

Court favors district’s decision not to qualify student for special education

The court of appeals affirmed a district court judgment. The court held that learning-disabled student failed to show that his school district acted unreasonably in determining in 2005 that he did not qualify for special education services under the “specific learning disability” category. The court held further that the Department of Education’s position that a […]

President Obama signs autism bill

by Cristina Rojas – Every year, some 50,000 youth with autism come of age in the United States. No one can say for sure what adulthood will hold for them, but legislation signed into law by President Obama Friday will help ease the burden on them and their families. Known formally as the Autism Collaboration, […]

Legislation for disability savings accounts pending passage

Sen. Charles Schumer endorses the ABLE Act.

by Benjamin Oreskes – U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer hopes to pass legislation that would allow family members of people with long-term disabilities such as autism to create new, tax-free bank accounts. The Democrat said the bill, dubbed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, would give parents and caregivers the ability to save more […]

Law regarding special ed graduation alternatives sets off debate

by Will Sentell – Louisiana’s education establishment faces a huge challenge implementing a controversial new law to make it easier for high school students to earn a high school diploma, superintendents said Thursday. “The bottom line is it is going to be a very difficult process,” said Doris Voitier, superintendent of the St. Bernard Parish […]

IDEA’s funding formula really needs an update

by Clare McCann – By the time the 113th Congress winds down, lawmakers will have passed precisely one (the Workforce Investment Act) of more than half a dozen pieces of education legislation overdue for reauthorization. Languishing on that list for the last few years has been the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which guarantees […]

New law says prenatal Down syndrome diagnoses should be followed with information to parents

by Megan Harris – Gov. Tom Corbett signed a bill that requires genetic counselors and other types of health care practitioners to provide parents with educational information once the practitioner make a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis. The legislation became law last week thanks in large part to 11-year-old Chloe Kondrich of Upper St. Clair, who […]

Parents will get information on Down syndrome care per new passed law

by Campbell North – Ever since her birth, Chloe Kondrich has taken her family on an unexpected journey. Chloe, born with Down syndrome in 2003, has now led the family up the steps of the State Capitol. This morning in Harrisburg, Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to sign the Down Syndrome Prenatal Education Act, otherwise […]