Sped classroom

History of Special Education

  • Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet founds first school for the deaf

    Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet founds first school for the deaf
    Founded in Hartford, Connecticut, Gallaudet inspired the now famous Gallaudet College (now, University) in 1884. Between 1817 and 1917 schools for the deaf were founded in most states. He also started the sign language approach to teaching deaf individuals
  • Perkins School for the Blind founded in Boston, MA

    Perkins School for the Blind founded in Boston, MA
    Marks the first formal efforts in the US to educate children with visual impairments. Helen Keller was a graduate of the Perkins School
  • Louis Braille perfected the Braille System of raised dots code for reading

    Louis Braille perfected the Braille System of raised dots code for reading
    Inspired by Captain Charles Barbier's "night reading" system of coded messages impressed on thick paper to allow soldiers to communicate through touch without using light or sound.
  • Jean-Marc Itard and Edouard Seguin

    Jean-Marc Itard and Edouard Seguin
    These two doctors were the first-documented people to attempt to teach children with intellectual and developmental delays. Jean-Marc Itard is most known for his work with the deaf and the "Wild Boy of Aveyron," an 11-year old boy who was found in a forest near Paris. Edouard Seguin is known for opening the world's first school for the severely intellectually disabled, as well as the notion that these people did not have diseased or abnormal brains, but suffered arrested mental development.
  • Bell founds the School of Vocal Physiology

    Bell founds the School of Vocal Physiology
    Alexander Graham Bell founded this school to improve the speech of children who were deaf and who suffered from stuttering or other articulation difficulties
  • Maria Montessori

    Maria Montessori
    Developed an approach to education that is personalized to each student's needs. This form of education has been favored by parents of students with disabilities because each individual student is observed and lesson plans are created round their particular needs. Students typically stay with the same teacher for 3 years, allowing for the focus to be on learning rather than getting used to a new teacher's style.
    amshq.org
  • Council for Exceptional Children

    Council for Exceptional Children
    The Council for Exceptional Children is a professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children with exceptionalities. They accomplish our mission through advocacy, standards, and professional development. Their core values surround visionary thinking, integrity, and inclusiveness.
    cec.sped.org
  • Formation of the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA)

    Formation of the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA)
    The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the nation's leading professional, credentialing, and scientific organization for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech/language/hearing scientists. ASHA has been the leader of these professions for over 91 years, initiating the development of national standards for audiologists and speech-language pathologists and certification since 1952.
    ASHA website
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    Alfred Strauss set the groundwork for ADHD research and coined the term "Strauss Syndrome."

    Behaviors that fall under Strauss Syndrome:
    - Erratic and inappropriate behavior on mild provocation
    - Increased motor Activity
    - Poor organization of behavior
    - Persistent faulty perceptions
    - Awkwardness and consistently poor motor performance
    - Persistent hyperactivity
    - Distractibility of more than ordinary degree under ordinary circumstances
  • Leo Kanner

    Leo Kanner
    Often referred to as the "father of child psychology" in the United States, Kanner developed the term "early infantile autism" as a clinical syndrome.
  • Asperger's Syndrome named

    Asperger's Syndrome named
    Named after Viennese pediatrician Hans Asperger, this syndrome is characterized by autism-like behaviors and difficulty in social skills in people who have otherwise normally developing intelligence and language development.
  • The Arc of the United States

    The Arc of the United States
    Founded as The National Association for Retarded Children by parents, The Arc a community-based organization advocating for and with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and serving them and their families. They believe every individual and family living with I/DD in the United States should have access to the information, advocacy, and skills to support their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.
    thearc.org
  • Brown v Board of Education

    Brown v Board of Education
    Famous school segregation case that began the legal charge for those with disabilities to begin to fight for their rights as well. If court decisions could protect minority citizens, they could also protect the rights of individuals with disabilities.
  • Period: to

    William Cruickshank develops first education program for students with ADHD

    William Cruikshank developed educational strategies for students who were hyperactive and distractible. His work laid the foundation for interventions that we still use with students with ADHD today.
  • Samuel Kirk coins the term "Learning Disability"

    Samuel Kirk coins the term "Learning Disability"
    Previously termed minimal brain dysfunction, Strauss syndrome, and brain injured, Kirk, an American psychologist and educator used this new term to describe students who had a neurologically based problem that affected their learning but who were of average or above average intelligence.
  • Community Mental Health Act - Public Law 88-164

    Community Mental Health Act - Public Law 88-164
    Enacted as part of President Kennedy's New Frontier, this act authorized federal funds for training professionals to work with children with special needs and for research and demonstration for students with IDD and deafness. It lead to the opening of many community mental health centers and led to deinstitutionalization of many people with disabilities.
  • Handicapped Children's Early Education Assistance Act (HCEEAA) -PL 90-538

    Provided for the establishment of 75 to 100 model programs designed to to develop approaches in assisting preschool-aged children with developmental disabilities.
  • Special Olympics

    Special Olympics
    Founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of President Kennedy, this organization's mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. It has become an international event, shifting focus away from what these athletes cannot do and focuses on what they can.
    specialolympics.org
  • PARC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

    PARC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
    PARC - Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children. Began a series of court decisions in favor of exceptional children getting access to free and appropriate public education (FAPE). While it had been decided that children were entitled to FAPE before this decision, this court case opened the definition of all children to include those with disabilities.
  • Mills v. Board of Education

    Mills v. Board of Education
    Another landmark case illuminating the need for students with disabilities to receive educational services, even if the child and the child's family is unable to afford it.
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - PL 93-112

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - PL 93-112
    This act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in programs that receive federal financial assistance, and set the stage for enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It states that it is illegal to deny participation in activities or programs solely on the basis of one's disability. It is possibly the beginning steps for the RtI (response to intervention) model that is so prevalent today.
  • Education for All Handicapped Children Act - PL 94-142

    Education for All Handicapped Children Act - PL 94-142
    Ensures all handicapped children have a FAPE that emphasizes special education and allows for services that are designed to meet individual needs.
    Six Key Provisions
    1) Zero reject
    2) Nondiscriminatory Evaluation
    3) IEPs
    4) Least Restrictive Environment
    5) Due Process
    6) Parental participation
  • Larry P. v Riles

    Larry P. v Riles
    Court decision which helped affirm the rights of children with disabilities. States that children shall not be labelled handicapped or placed in special education classes without a proper diagnosis that takes into account cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
  • Jose P. v Ambach

    Jose P. v Ambach
    Court decision that focused on the needs of bilingual children with exceptionalities. States that these children should be given identification, evaluation and education based on their dual-language needs.
  • Board of Education v. Rowley

    Board of Education v. Rowley
    Supreme Court decision that was the first court case proposing a limit to resources for disabled children. The court held that public schools are not required by law to provide sign language interpreters to deaf students who are otherwise receiving an equal and adequate education.
  • Education of the Handicapped Amendments - PL 99-457

    Education of the Handicapped Amendments - PL 99-457
    Precursor for IDEA. Allocated federal funds for states to develop programs for children and their families starting at birth.
  • Polk. v. Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit 16

    Polk. v. Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit 16
    Subsequent to the Rowley case, this case stated that services must provide sufficient support so children with disabilities can benefit educationally.
  • The Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act (P.L. 100-407)

    The Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act (P.L. 100-407)
    Often called "Tech Act" for short, this act increased access to, availability of, and funding for assistive technology for individuals with disabilities through state efforts and national initiatives. Reaffirmed in 1998 and went through a name change in 2004 to Assistive Technology Act (discussed later in timeline)
  • Human Genome Project

    Human Genome Project
    International scientific research project with a goal of mapping all genes in the homan genome. Led to ways of helping us understand the role of genes in how and why disabilities occur, whether it be nature (genetic) or nurture (environment) or both.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act - PL 101-336

    Americans with Disabilities Act - PL 101-336
    This extends the rights granted to many in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to also include people with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
  • Barnett v. Fairfax County Board of Education

    Barnett v. Fairfax County Board of Education
    Allowed a child with a hearing disability to attend a school that was outside of the school district rather than the local neighborhood school because the school that was further away had services that better met the student's needs.
  • Greer v. Rome City School District

    Greer v. Rome City School District
    Court case ruling in favor of inclusion as a child with Down syndrome was placed in a general education program rather than a special education class.
  • Oberti v. Board of Education of the Borough of Clementon School District

    Oberti v. Board of Education of the Borough of Clementon School District
    Court ruling that stated that in order to exclude a child with disabilities from a general education classroom, they must provide adequate evidence that proves that the child will either not benefit from the inclusion or that the classroom itself will be so severely disrupted by the inclusion that other students will not be able to learn.
  • Heather Whitestone becomes Miss America

    Heather Whitestone becomes Miss America
    Heather Whitestone McCallum became the first deaf Miss America, one of the pivotal moments of growing acceptance of individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing
  • Michael Rutter

    Michael Rutter
    First professor of child psychiatry in the UK. Compared children with autism with children who displayed other emotional disorders. Found these three characteristics that were consistently present in autistic children but not always in children with emotional disorders:
    1) Failure to develop social relationships
    2) Language retardation with impaired comprehension
    3) Ritualistic or compulsive behaviors.
  • Colorado Deaf Child's Bill of Rights

    Colorado Deaf Child's Bill of Rights
    Passed in Colorado in 1996 to serve as an assurance that deaf children will get the education that they need.
    - Recognizes SpEd needs for children who are deaf or hard of hearing
    - Requires a committee to develop an IEP for those children
    - Children cannot be denied education for being deaf or HOH
    - Allow child to receive education in multiple communication modes or languages that are beneficial to them.
    - There does not need to be a specific number of deaf or HOH children to enact this bill.
  • No Child Left Behind - PL 107-110

    No Child Left Behind - PL 107-110
    Reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act during the George W. Bush administration. Supports standards-based education, setting high standards and establishing measureable goals for all students. Emphasizes annual testing, annual academic progress, report cards, and teacher qualifications. Can be troublesome for students with disabilities as accommodations are not necessarily taken into consideration when analyzing data.
  • J.P. v. West Clark Community Schools

    J.P. v. West Clark Community Schools
    Court case establishing the legal standard for sound education policy for students with autism. 1) Can the school district articulate its rationale or explain the spcific benefits of using that approach for the given child?
    2) Do the teachers and special educators involved have the necessary experience and expertise to do so successfully?
    3) Are there qualified experts in the educational community who consider the school district's approach to be at least adequate under the circumstances?
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA)

    Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA)
    Reauthorization of the Education for all Handicapped Children Act, ensuring students with a disability are provided with Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that is tailored to their individual needs. Covers needs of children from birth and provides federal support for education programs that support education for individuals with disabilities. 6 key elements: IEP; FAPE; Least Restrictive Environment LRE; Appropriate Evaluation; Parent and Teacher Participation; and Procedural Safeguards.
  • Assistive Technology Act of 2004

    Assistive Technology Act of 2004
    Allows that Congress will provide funding for obtaining hardware and ensures that IEP committees take into account any technology needs when developing IEPs for students.
  • Henrico County School Board x. R.T.

    Henrico County School Board x. R.T.
    Court case in favor of a child with autism who was reimbursed for private school costs when it was found that the public school knowingly and repeatedly failed to provide appropriate education.
  • American Association on Mental Retardation Changes Name to American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

    American Association on Mental Retardation Changes Name to  American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
    AAIDD is the oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization of professionals and others concerned about intellectual and developmental disabilities. They promote progressive policies, sound research, effective practices and universal human rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    aaidd.org
  • Combating Autism Act

    Combating Autism Act
    Enacted by George W. Bush after an alliance of parents and professionals were able to persuade Congress. This act authorizes establishment of regional centers for ASD research, authorizes activities to increase public awareness of autism, increase early screening for autism, and improve abilities of healthcare providers. It also calls on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee to enhance information sharing. Reauthorized in 2011.
  • L.I. v Maine School Administrative District

    L.I. v Maine School Administrative District
    Court case surrounding predetermination involving a child with Asperger's who was denied special education services due to her outstanding academic performance. The court ruled that the student would be granted special education.
  • Winkleman v. Parma City School District

    Winkleman v. Parma City School District
    Court case supporting parental involvement in students with disabilities getting FAPE.
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

    American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
    Resulting from the 2008-2009 recession, this act, whose goal was to stimulate economic activity, provided funds to many states under IDEA on a one-time basis to improve early intervention services. Directed funds to activities like Child Find, which is a legal requirement that schools find all children who have disabilities and who may be entitled to special education services.
  • Drobnicki v. Poway United School District

    Drobnicki v. Poway United School District
    Another court case involving parental involvement in their children with disability's education. The school district scheduled an IEP meeting on a day the parents were unable to attend and went on with the meeting without the parents, letting them know they could participate via speakerphone. The court ruled in favor of the parents.
  • Common Core State Standards

    Common Core State Standards
    National set of standards designating what skills and knowledge are expected from K-12 students in the United States. These standards are often very difficult for students with disabilities, and it is the goal of special educators to help their students reach these standards. But ti requires many moving parts and intense teamwork and support services.
  • DSM-5 Published

    DSM-5 Published
    Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This manual established Rett syndrome and Asperger's syndrome as falling under the category of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Sets the diagnostic criteria for ASD as follows:
    A) Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across contexts
    B) Restricted, repetitive pattersn of behavior, interests, or activites
    C) Symptoms present in early childhood
    D) Symptoms limit and impair everyday function.
  • Every Student Succeeds Act

    Every Student Succeeds Act
    The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, and represents good news for our nation’s schools. This bipartisan measure reauthorizes the 50-year-old ESEA, the nation’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students. The new law builds on key areas of progress in recent years, made possible by the efforts of educators, communities, parents, and students across the country.
    ESSA