Rotarian Janet Goheen retired after 60 years in education including teaching English and 25 years as a Guidance Counselor. In teaching us everything we wanted to know about Special Education in Hudson, she started with a little bit of history.
Mentally retarded, handicapped, disabled and special needs children, in the past, were rated by IQ; less than 20 were labeled idiots, IQs 20 to 49 were labeled imbeciles and IQs 50 to 69 were labeled morons.
Today an intervention assistance team consisting of a special education principal, school psychologist who does testing, a learning disabilities teacher, a speech language pathologist, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, parents and sometimes a lawyer and nurse created an individualized eduction plan. The plan has levels which include aides, tutors for
the highest level students, inclusion (special ed plus a regular teacher) and a resource classroom for math and language.
Children with autism, Aspberger’s syndrome, cognitive disability, multiple disabilities, emotionally disturbed and cross categorical issues are all served.
Janet noted that private schools don’t have to take any of these children. They save on the cost of a complete intervention assistance team and the time it takes to prepare an individualized education plan and the cost of keeping records. Almost 20 percent of Hudson children have an individualized education plan where as other school districts average about 11 percent of students. Parents move to Hudson to take advantage of the excellent special education program and children can remain on the program until they are 22 years old.
Janet’s talk generated a lot of interest among the members and she was gracious enough to take many questions.
Our next Hudson Clocktower Rotary meeting takes place on Wednesday, July 19, at Lager & Vine. We begin promptly at 11:45.