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New school for special needs

June 23, 2007

Re "Ending is a beginning for special-needs students," June 16

It's not all pomp and circumstance for students with autism who graduate high school and go on to college. Such goals are possible through programs offered by the Help Group in Los Angeles, particularly those at Village Glen School. Yet most public school districts aren't providing intensive educational services for children with autism and Asperger's syndrome, with goals equal to those for typical children.

Unfortunately, these goals are more often achieved for children from Anglo families who are educated and/or well off financially. Low-income and non-English-speaking families often cannot negotiate the special education maze.

Recognizing this, the Graduate School of Education at UC Riverside will open a new family autism resource center this fall, focusing on education and advocacy services for all families, but especially those who are low income and Spanish speaking.

JAN BLACHER

Professor and faculty chair

Graduate School

of Education

UC Riverside

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