Special Education: From Detection To Referral

1347 words - 6 pages

For every child that is diagnosed with special needs there is a mandated plan of action known as an IEP, or individualized education program. This is a course of action that is designed specifically for each child that lays out the education plan that will meet that individual child's needs. This is due to legislation, a bill known as PL-94-142 or the Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975(Gargiulo, 2006). It requires a free and appropriate public education for all disabled students ages three through twenty one. This bill covers a wide range of areas of special education and has six key components that are important to understand the impact this legislation has had on educat ...view middle of the document...

Since this legislation was passed in 1975 there have been many additions and alterations made to it. One of the reauthorizations made was the PL 99-457 in 1986, which extended the benefits to include early intervention to infants and toddlers with disabilities ages birth to three years (Gargiulo, 2006). This was important to be able to detect children with potential problems earlier and provide intervention and support.The next reauthorization was the PL 101-476. This covered a wide range of issues. The importance of preparing adolescents for life after school was recognized and each student was required to have an individualized transition plan as part of their IEP (Gargiulo, 2006). It also added social work and rehabilitation as additional services provided and recognized autism and brain injury as distinct disability categories. Parents were also given the ability to sue states that did not comply with the laws, whereas they were previously immune from lawsuits.The next reauthorization made was the PL 105-17 in 1997. This was divided into four parts which covered revising definitions, restructuring key components ranging from funding, discipline, parental involvement, the role of teachers, and the development of IEPs (Gargiulo, 2006). The definitions were redefined to fit particular disabilities more appropriately. The changes made to funding covered states who received funding exceeding a certain amount and then more funds could be distributed based on population and need. Changes made in the areas of discipline covered expulsion and the extent in which children with disabilities receive discipline. Parental involvement was increased from being included in the IEP process, but now being involved in many decisions, such as the eligibility and placement process. The role of teachers was affected by making the regular teacher a part of the IEP process, since more disabled children would be placed in regular classrooms. It also supports more teachers training. IEPs were affected in that performance goals had to be set, alternative assessments made available, and more tools used to assess whether the child is disabled and eligible for services.The most recent reauthorization made is the IDEA 2004: PL 108-446 which changes the way special education services are implemented (LD Online, 2008). A few of the changes made include ensuring parents and children are protected and that all children with disabilities are given an appropriate education designed to meet their needs. Another component is assistance given to states to ensure an education is provided for all disabled children, and assistance in statewide system of early intervention for infant and toddlers with disabilities (LD Online, 2008). Another reauthorization was to provide tools to improve results by supporting system improvement activities (LD Online, 2008). This includes more research, use of technology, and media services. This enables educators and parents to work together to ...


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