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Milestone One: Autism Grant Proposal
Problem Identification and Prevalence
Children all over the US identified with childhood disorders that affect them over a lifetime. However, Autism/Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD) is one topic that I am interested in researching. Because I am an educator in a public school setting with the have relative experience and hands-on teaching involvement with children diagnosed with autism, I understand that autism affects each child differently, as well as the importance of teaching children with this disorder and needing the teaching tools and equipment to help provide the resources such as speech/occupational therapies, and social skills, needed to make the teaching experience and environment positive and effective.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a life-long growing disorder that affects one in 59 children and is more prevalent in boys than girls. Children with ASD have persistent issues with restricted and or repetitive behaviors, social interaction, speech, language, and nonverbal communication (Psychiatry.org, 2019). For best results, early diagnosis intervention and treatment are imperative to minimizing autism symptoms and improving the behaviors of those with the disorder. Because there is no specific medical test for autism, it is through observations, and communication and behavior of the child’s behavior with others and in comparing them to other behaviors of other children (Psychiatry.org, 2019). Through research, it is unsure why Autism is more prevalent in boys than girls. However, it is found to be connected to the etiology of this disorder. This is thought to be because ASC is an extreme manifestation of the male brain (Baron-Cohen et al., 2011).
In the school district of Western Wyandotte County, Kanas, students tend to struggle with resources and funding throughout the district with special education. Due to the failure of the federal government in providing at least half of the funding it guaranteed has put a strain on schools and their resources to help schools provide the proper education for children with special needs (How Congress’ underfunding of special education shortchanges us all, 2016).
The school district of Kansas must continue to fight for funding for kids with autism and other special needs. This means recommending a consistent increase in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) spending, which could give the school districts full funding (How Congress’ underfunding of special education shortchanges us all, 2016). Incorporating the effective funding will allow students to get the resources and therapies available in their learning environment. When schools can receive investment funding, students can get the best possible special education needed for their disability or disorder. When schools can provide the proper tools and resources, this will allow children to grow to be productive, independent individuals throughout their lifetime of growth (Why model autism programs are rare in public schools, 2018).
Assessment of Resources
Public schools throughout the US is funded through the state in which the school is located. Based on the US Department of Education, schools receive about 8% of funding from the Federal Government while state and local government fund the lasting balance per student in the public education System(En.wikipedia.org, 2019). There are additional resources available to help in funding schools with autism and other disabilities. Generally, public schools receive special needs funds from their district. There is also federal money and grants access to special needs branches. Some of those funds are dispensed for schools that participate in specific programs or for the specific need of the child (Ployhar, 2019). Lack of these resources can hurt classroom effectiveness and learn from the teacher to the student; by not giving the child all the resources needed to provide them for a prosperous and learning experience.
Impact of the Problem
In the school and educational setting, over the last ten years, there has been an increase in the diagnosis and early intervention of autism. Because there is a lack of connection between educational research and implementing strategies, there is a need for the government to provide resources in educating individuals with autism. There have been some methods applied in schools. However, there is limited research on whether the autism educational strategies and tools as well as teacher involvement. Majority of children spend their time in a school environment; there is a need for schools to provide and implement improved education from research and intervention in public schools. It is through funding that teachers and staff build collective partnerships with researchers and school practitioners to achieve a better understanding of autism spectrum with children (Parsons et al., 2013). When there is a lack of resources, it can affect the families as well as the child. Children can lose the opportunity to go to school and receive the services cause parents to have to pay for the services out of their finances, which can be expensive and cause financial stress within the family (Specialneedsplanning.net, 2019).
- Baron-Cohen, S., Lombardo, M. V., Auyeung, B., Ashwin, E., Chakrabarti, B., & Knickmeyer, R. (2011). Why Are Autism Spectrum Conditions More Prevalent in Males? PLoS Biology, 9(6). doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001081
En.wikipedia.org. (2019). Public school funding. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_school_funding [Accessed 13 Jan. 2019].
- How Congress’ underfunding of special education shortchanges us all. (2016, June 03). Retrieved from https://educationvotes.nea.org/2015/05/19/how-congress-underfunding-of-special-education-shortchanges-us-all/
- Parsons, S., Charman, T., Faulkner, R., Ragan, J., Wallace, S., & Wittemeyer, K. (2013). Commentary – bridging the research and practice gap in autism: The importance of creating research partnerships with schools. Autism, 17(3), 268–280. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361312472068
Ployhar, P. (2019). Why Public Schools Want Your Special Needs Child – Part 1 – Texas Home School Coalition – THSC. [online] Texas Home School Coalition – THSC. Available at: https://thsc.org/why-public-schools-want-your-special-needs-child-part-1-20514/ [Accessed 13 Jan. 2019].
- Psychiatry.org. (2019). What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?. [online] Available at: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/autism/what-is-autism-spectrum-disorder [Accessed 13 Jan. 2019].
- Specialneedsplanning.net. (2019). State Disability Funding Cutbacks & the Effect on Families with Special Needs | M & L Special Needs Planning. [online] Available at: https://specialneedsplanning.net/2015/09/state-disability-funding-cutbacks-the-effect-on-families-with-special-needs/ [Accessed 13 Jan. 2019].
- Why model autism programs are rare in public schools. (2018, January 22). Retrieved from https://www.spectrumnews.org/opinion/viewpoint/model-autism-programs-rare-public-schools/
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