Monday, November 11, 2013

Pamela McLoughlin: Connecticut’s handling of P.J. case hurts special needs son (OPINION COLUMN)

By Pamela McLoughlin
Register Staff
I have a 16-year-old son with an intellectual disability who has been in the special education system for 13 years, and I cursed Connecticut’s handling of the P.J. settlement daily throughout his time in elementary school.
Yes, the settlement has done wonders for countless children who, through inclusion in a typical classroom, have had the priceless benefit of interacting and learning alongside children who provide what no book or teacher’s lesson ever could — modeling of appropriate behavior, social interaction and a higher bar for academic achievement.
But the state Department of Education has gone too far in eliminating self-contained classrooms following the P.J. settlement agreement. Just as children were wrongly warehoused into contained classrooms before the P.J. settlement, children such as my son, Will, who can’t survive in a classroom with typical peers, are being warehoused to substandard special education schools.

Read more here.

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