Entries by Kelly Rain Collin

FASD and the Need for Early and Effective Interventions

For centuries we have known about the impact prenatal alcohol exposure can have on a child’s development, yet the predominate culture in the United States minimizes this and turns away from acknowledgement of the repercussions. In fact, when it comes to both breadth and specificity, the known outcomes are rarely taught to professionals in the medical, educational, and mental health fields, leaving most in these disciplines ignorant of the significant needs of persons with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).

It is time for this to change.

The History of AB3632 and Educationally Related Mental Health Services in CA(1)

In 1975, congress passed what is now commonly referred to as IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). This act ensured that every child – no matter of ability or disability – is entitled to a free appropriate public education. In 1984, in response to major concerns that mental health services were not being adequately provided to students who needed such services in order to benefit from their education, California passed Assembly Bill 3632, which required counties to provide these services. From 1984 through 2010, the county departments of mental health were in charge of completing mental health assessments, recommendations, and case management for students. These services were coordinated with the students’ individualized education program (IEP).

Inefficiency is Depleting Special Education Funds

There are so many complaints about how special education costs are depleting our tax dollars and diverting money that might be used elsewhere to support children’s learning. But in the view from the trenches, the expense of special education is not the culprit, inefficient spending is.