Juvenile justice and special education needs

Jackie Mader and Sarah Butrymowicz – Toney Jennings was illiterate when he was arrested at age 16. In the six months he spent at the Lowndes County Jail in eastern Mississippi, he says he played basketball, watched TV and “basically just stayed to myself.” A special education student, Jennings qualified for extra help in school. […]


Over half of juvenile prison inmates have a learning or emotional disability

by Roger Riddell – Dive Brief: • As many districts nationwide work to address the school-to-prison pipeline, research is being highlighted showing the disproportionate number of special education students with behavioral or emotional disabilities affected. • Particularly, those students in low-performing schools without mental health care and highly qualified teachers and staff are especially impacted […]


Couple with Down syndrome get thousands of fans after prom photo

by Amber Elliott – Sydney Simpson wanted only one boy to escort her to Seven Lakes High School’s senior dance: Jake Shabet. Simpson and Shabet both have Down syndrome. The pair met near the beginning of the school year last year, and the 17-year-old decided early on that Shabet was her boyfriend, says her mother, […]


Several gene mutations causing autism are not inherited

by Nancy Shute – The hunt to find genes that cause autism has been a long slog, one hampered by a lack of technology and families willing to be tested. But those efforts are starting to pay off. On Tuesday, researchers at more than 50 laboratories said they had identified more than 100 genes that […]

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Fair offers parents resources for their children with special needs

by Martha Longley – Tables with colorful flags and dishes of candy lined the circular perimeter of the cafeteria at Hill Regional Career High School last night. There, parents, teachers and local advocates convened for the annual New Haven Public Schools Parent Resource Fair. New Haven Public Schools, the Department of Developmental Services and the […]

More education



Senator shares parent concerns about cuts to autism coverage

by Bruce Parker – A Senate Democrat is coming to the rescue of military families who could lose medical help for their autistic children. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) says he is “concerned” by controversial changes to the military’s healthcare plan that could leave hundreds of autistic children without a healthcare provider. In a letter to […]

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We started advocating for our son with Down syndrome minutes after his birth

by Sam Perkins – Pearlene Varjabedian was in her kitchen on an early August afternoon when her phone rang. On the other end was John Howard, the behavior management specialist for the Middlesex Sheriff’s Youth Public Safety Academy (YPSA), where Pearlene’s 10-year-old son Aram was a camper. “He said, ‘Pearlene,’ your son made everyone cry […]