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Without funds, Colorado’s special ed often can fall short

Karen Auge
The Denver Post

It was almost easier for Jennifer Anderson to believe her son was mentally ill than believe the school staff she trusted locked her autistic child in a tiny converted closet.

He was in the fourth grade when staff at his Douglas County elementary school decided that, besides having autism, Scottie was psychotic.

His mother could hardly deny something was wrong. The child who once thrived at school now was anxious, out of control and racked by nightmares. In class, he was aggressive, even combative.

She’s convinced – and says therapists agree – that what pushed Scottie into a downward spiral wasn’t psychosis but something akin to post-traumatic stress, brought on by what happened at school. “I don’t know if he’ll ever be able to go into a school again,” Anderson said.

For tens of thousands of children, special education offers an opportunity for lives of contribution and achievement. But for others, especially those with profound disabilities, that promise has been marred by a public education system that is inconsistent, stretched to the limit and challenged by children with a confounding array of complex disabilities.

For more of this Denver Post story: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_12818543


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