Artwork saying "Top 5"

Each Friday Thompson Policy Institute rounds up the top 5 articles we found on the web about disability and autism. It’s a fast and digestible way to ensure you are staying up to date with the latest stats, information and research on disability. Here are our picks for the week of Friday, February 19th.

One way to improve kindergarten attendance: Take the school bus

A recent study indicated that “the school bus” effect increases attendance for all income levels during these important formative years. Struggling in later grades and not passing state required examinations is linked to absenteeism in kindergarten, so this is a step in the right direction.

Report: Inclusion On Rise in Nation’s Schools

Inclusion is trending in US schools and those receiving care from the Individual with Disabilities Education Act are integrated amongst their peers at an inspiring rate. 6/10 students under IDEA spend about 80% of their time in a classroom amongst their peers.

Senate Health Committee (Video)

The California Senate Health Committee hosted The Future of California Children’s Services Program discussion at the start of January. Watch the full discussion and read the
additional documents
that helped guide the meeting.

State Seeks to Calm Fears in Change Over Autism Care

A recent change impacted about 9,000 California children with autism and led them to think they would have to find new providers for their care and services. The state is clarifying that the families will still have access to their same providers and that the intentions of the bill were never to cut out the mid-level service providers in question.

Are California’s Mental Health Dollars Helping Kids?

A California bill passed in 2011 transferred the responsibility for providing special education programs and resources from county department of mental health offices to California school districts. There have been challenges implementing the programs so far and the State Auditor believes the dollars could be spent more wisely. Read
our take
 on the issue as well.