Inaction is not an option; the silence is not working

On August 28, 2012 I ignited the conversation about children with Asperger’s Syndrome, PDD-NOS, Non-Verbal Learning Disability, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and how these children are egregiously underserved in MI and across the U.S. I spoke to how the IDEA does not recognize them and neither do a majority of states.

How too many are suspended, expelled and ending up in our juvenile justice (or lack thereof) system as the schools are failing them miserably. The Newtown tragedy has sparked a national conversation on Asperger’s Syndrome, mental illness and gun control (unless you are Wayne LaPierre and have outlandishly dangerous views on turning teachers into armed bandits which as V.P. Biden would say is just a bunch of malarkie) and this cannot stop.

The time is now to talk about how IDEA is a failure and districts violate Child Find every day of the school year. The time is now to talk about urging President Obama to become the “education president” that I know he can become and replace Arne Duncan with an Education Secretary who will fight to reinvest, reinvigorate and reform Public Education (and not destroy it through for-profit charters and Race to the Top “or bottom”) and finally address the educational needs of 7.1 million students with counterfeit IEPs.

The time is now to talk until your voice is hoarse and educate every person that you know along with your legislators about the children that IDEA ignores along with finally fully funding this broken promise (and addressing “maintenance of effort). Talk about children who are destroyed in our public schools and become an Adam Lanza. Talk about the children with disabilities who desperately want to be taxpayers and have access to the American Dream.

Talk about the lowly 6300 pediatric psychiatrists and need to double this number right now and more than triple it by the year 2020. Talk about the lack of access to pediatric psychiatrists because they are not “in-network” in countless insurance policies and parents have no one and nowhere to take their children with the early onset of psychiatric illness.

Talk about your child and all children and recognize each and every one as our country’s greatest national resource. We as a nation can be better than this. We must be better than this. Keep the conversation going.

See my closing statement at the IEP Rally for Special Education in public schools HERE

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