By Valerie C. Williams
Director, Office of Special Education Programs
This is the total number of disciplinary removals students with disabilities experienced over the 2019-20 school year. Each removal represents a child’s time away from their typical learning environment: time away from their teachers, their peers, and their friends. For many children with disabilities, particularly those who find comfort in routines, it can be an uprooting and distressing experience. It is hard for a child to learn when they are removed from their class.
B. Gerard Woodrich is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Board Approved Clinical Supervisor. He obtained his Master of Social Work degree from Southern University, New Orleans, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge. Mr. Woodrich specializes in treating depression and trauma-based anxiety due to emotional, sexual, and physical abuse. His greatest passion is centered around helping young African American males and at-risk youth using innovative and relatable techniques.
By Thomas Delaney, EdS School Psychologist, Interagency Partnership Supervisor and State Personnel Development Grant Director for the Minnesota Department of Education
When I was in high school in the mid-1980s, I got a copy of Richard Bach’s book “Illusions” into my hands. I can’t remember how that came to be, or who put it there, but there is a quote in that book that can always help you look in the mirror and recognize who you see, and it reads, “Remember where you came from, where you’re going, and why you created this mess you got yourself into in the first place.”
Katherine (Katy) Neas, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of Education
Sherry Lachman, Associate Director for Education, Income Maintenance and Labor, White House Office of Management and Budget
Bert Wyman, Program Examiner, White House Office of Management and Budget
The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to improving the lives of young children with disabilities and their families. We are working to ensure that every child who needs individualized and high-quality early intervention services receives them as early as possible. We have called on Congress to double funding for these services and we have made strategic investments to expand the number of early intervention providers, including in underserved communities. We are also developing user-friendly resources and technical assistance on expanding access to early intervention for early childhood state and local administrators and service providers, families, and advocates. As part of this effort, on December 14, the Department of Education, in partnership with the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services, hosted a webinar where we released informational guides for early childhood stakeholders to promote innovative and effective strategies for identifying and serving all children eligible for early intervention services.
Sadia Batool is a physician with a current focus on supporting families and professionals in Early Childhood Systems. Her passion for Early Childhood systems stems from her personal experience of receiving life changing early intervention services for her daughter with autism.
Note: October is Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.
By Kristin Kane
October is a great month for awareness, some impressive groups come together this month to share information about a specific issue. At the heart of it is a goal that helps others understand why the issue is important and why we should pay attention. Raising awareness can take different forms, but it is the connection of people that brings meaning to why a community raises awareness.
This month is Dyslexia/LD/ADHD Awareness Month, and I had the honor of sitting down with Resha Conroy, a parent of a child with Dyslexia. She is also a member of the National Center on Improving Literacy Family Engagement Advisory Board and has started her own non-profit, Dyslexia Alliance for Black Children
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month
by Terri Leyton
Seventeen and a half years ago, our world was rocked when Kelsey was born.
Everything changed when she was whisked away to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for observation. The obstetrician and NICU pediatrician came back to tell my husband and me that Kelsey had a pretty significant heart defect, and they suspected she had Down syndrome. Many questions swirled in our heads: Could her heart be repaired? Will she survive? What will our life be like raising a child with Down syndrome?
What will her life be like?
Working with Dual Language Learners
Montserrat Garibay is the Acting Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director for the Office of English Language Acquisition and Senior Advisor for Labor Relations, Office of Secretary, U.S. Department of Education. Previously she was the secretary-treasurer of the Texas American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and served as vice president for Certified Employees with Education Austin. Ms. Garibay was a bilingual pre-kindergarten teacher for eight years and a National Board-Certified Teacher. She is a graduate of the National Labor Leadership Initiative with the Worker Institute at Cornell University and is a University of Texas-Austin graduate with a master’s degree in Education. An activist on education and immigration issues, Garibay came to the U.S. from Mexico City as an undocumented immigrant and became a citizen 20 years later. She has been instrumental in promoting opportunities for all students, including those from immigrant families.
October is Learning Disabilities / Dyslexia / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Month.
By Athena Hallberg
My learning disabilities and anxiety have always gone hand in hand; however, while I was diagnosed at a very young age with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and an auditory processing delay, my anxiety disorder went undiagnosed for years. My anxiety disorder was my biggest secret — the worst kept secret, but a secret all the same.
Vision and Eye Health for Young Children
Kay Nottingham Chaplin, Ed.D., is the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Prevent Blindness, working primarily with its National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health. She provides technical assistance about all aspects of a vision and eye health program, including early detection through screening and program evaluation and improvement. Dr. Nottingham Chaplin has worked in vision screening for 21 years. She assisted states in creating or revising vision screening and eye health guidelines, and serves as a panelist or presenter at webinars and lectures at international and national venues.