Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Special Needs Students Bullied, Left Out, Study Finds and Much More

Special needs students are left out and bullied more often than their peers, the Medical University of South Carolina concluded. Of note for the school bus community this comment from lead author Kimberly Twyman, M.D., MUSC Department of Pediatrics: "It is essential that parents, educators, and clinicians regularly ask children with special needs about their social experiences and reassure them that any problems will be effectively addressed." What are you doing for the special needs students on your bus to make sure they are not bullied?

What's the difference between "special needs" and and "disabled"? A mother of one boy says its more than just words. Food for thoughts. Comments posting are worth browsing through, too.

We've talked about swine flu and schools, but what about special needs children? The New York Times reports.

In Cleveland, doctors and lawyers are teaming up to help special needs children. According to the article, the city has a slightly higher than average portion of students receiving IEP services, but many parents are intimidated by the system. How's the school transportation community teaming to help students? How could it do it better?

The Supreme Court last week heard arguments about whether public schools should pay for educating special needs students in private schools. The Baltimore Sun offers one of several editorials on the issue, concluding:
... funding special education will remain a problem until some form of comprehensive education reform is enacted. Private institutions will never be able to make up for the failures of large numbers of public school special-ed programs that don't work. What's needed are across-the-board improvements in public education that also include raising the quality of instruction and services offered to children with special needs.

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We want this to be an open forum for the hundreds of thousands of people that are involved in transporting special needs students each day. We want to hear what you think, what's going on at your facility and what solutions you've found. But, please, keep it civil. Just like on the bus, we'll have no tolerance for attacks or anything defamatory. We won't write you up, but we'll delete the comments right away. So don't bother. But if you have something to share, this is your place.

STN Editors