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Students with Special Needs

Students with Special Needs Transportation

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LEGAL & PLANNINGSPECIAL EDUCATION

6 Questions & Answers about Transporting Students with Special Needs

Transportation is one of the most important services a school district is required to provide to students with disabilities under federal and state special education laws.

The article will focus on the federal requirements regarding transportation and whether or not your school district is in compliance with those laws. Individual state laws are not discussed as the laws vary and are beyond the scope of this article.

This article is meant to provide a summary of the laws and some of the judicial interpretations of those laws.  To interpret whether the laws and case law are applicable to your facts and situation, you should always consult an attorney.

 1. What laws govern the transportation of students with disabilities?

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”): explains at 20 U.S.C. § 1401(26)(A) that “transportation” is a related service under the law for students identified with a disability under the law and explains that:

  • The term “related services” means transportation, and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services (including speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, social work services, school nurse services designed to enable a child with a disability to receive a free appropriate public educationas described in the individualized education program of the child, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services, except that such medical services shall be for diagnostic and evaluation purposes only) as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes the early identification and assessment of disabling conditions in children.

The IDEA implementing regulations located at 34 C.F.R. § 300.34(a), further define “related services,” stating:

  • General. Related services means transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. Related services also include school health services and school nurse services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training.

 

Creating a Village for Your Special Needs Young Adult

A mother shares how she supports her son as he ages

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Kristin Jarvis Adams

BY KRISTIN JARVIS ADAMS

PUBLISHED ON: APRIL 03, 2017

 

Mother and son with backs to camera

While my son splashed through his first day with the local Special Olympics swim team, I scanned the faces surrounding the steamy caldron of our neighborhood swimming pool. I recognized a woman in the bleachers, unsure of how I knew her until her daughter slid gracefully out of the water and approached me with a slightly awkward gait.

Additional resources

For more opportunities for your young adult to begin building their village, browse through your local Parks & Recreation Guide for Adaptive Recreation Programs. Other great opportunities to connect in the Seattle area are Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life CenterOutdoors for All FoundationThe Tavon Center and Friendship Adventures.

“You’re Andrew’s mom. You drive a red Toyota van,” she said, shaking huge droplets of water onto the pool deck.

I stared at her, remembering a little girl with brown hair and an intense smile, a girl who now lived in a woman’s body. “I am! I’m so happy to see you, Sarah! It’s been years,” I said, as she turned on her heels and walked away. Her mom glanced up from her phone and I waved as the two of them headed to the locker room.

Sarah is 23 years old and autistic. So is my son, Andrew. They were in the same classroom in the first grade, crisscrossing paths through elementary school. I hadn’t seen Sarah in 12 years, yet she recalled my red Toyota minivan from a first-grade field trip.

After practice that day, I lingered in the lobby with the other parents. Like me, their kids are grown but parenting remains a full-time job. We are a motley tribe of seasoned parents trying to figure out the best way to transition our kids from childhood into adulthood. 

Autism Special Needs Checklist: Teens & Young Adults

special needs young adults

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When your child becomes a teenager, you'll need to start planning for his or her future after high school. Where will your child live as an adult? Is college or vocational school an option? What about employment?

It's a lot to consider, but transition planning can help. With some careful thought and help from your child's school, doctors, and your state's government agencies, you can make the move to adulthood as smooth as possible for you and your child.

Here are 6 steps to consider.

Step 1: Start the Transition Plan

Some schools start planning for a teen's future at age 13 or 14; by federal law, a transition individualized education program (IEP) must be started by age 16. The transition IEP addresses whether a teen is able to:

  • remain in high school until the end of the year that he or she turns 21. This extra time can allow your child to complete graduation requirements, or attend vocational rehabilitation to learn job skills and try jobs of interest. Students also may focus on developing independent living skills, including how to get around on public transportation and handle money.
  • complete the requirements for a high school diploma. If your teen is not on the diploma track, what will it take for him or her to earn a certificate of completion or attendance?
  • go to college or trade school, and if so, how to get there.

If higher education is not a good fit, maybe:

  • employment with or without support from a job coach; or
  • a day program, in which your teen engages in the arts and other activities.

The IEP team will talk with you and your teen about goals for the future.

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