Last week, I reported on how parents of special education students in the Lee’s Summit School District were ready to picket a state education conference on autism because they were upset that Lee’s Summit’s Director of Special Education, Jerry Keimig, had been selected to give a presentation.
I was never able to confirm this, but as near as I
can tell, the last time Missouri school administrators
heard a presentation on autism was ten years ago. The
point of that program? To help them avoid lawsuits filed
by parents who are angry about their autistic children’s
After a page and a half of running down what LOVAAS and TEACHCH are – and noting that students in early childhood special education programs can have their services 100 percent reimbursed by state funds instead of individual school districts – the document goes into detail about increases in litigation over special education, test cases in which parents won, and how a district can deny education services while avoiding litigation.
Even though this seminar program is ten years old, it is the last time MASA chose to address the issue of special education for autistic students, according to Stephanie Sappenfield, an administrative assistant with the group. She told me there had been no other programs on autism education in the past decade.