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F. E.A.T. - Chattanooga                        NEWSLETTER                                  Page 2
From The Special Ed Advocate On-Line Newsletter
On January 23, at 6:30 p.m.,
the Associated Press published


  The following article was adapted from an Internet email list.

Fill Up The Daily 
"Dead Time"

 The article by AP Writer Karen Gullo is based on an advance copy of the IDEA Compliance Report obtained by the Associated Press.

"Many children with disabilities are getting substandard
schooling because states are not complying with federal
rules on special education. . . "

"In too many cases, children with disabilities are taught in
separate classrooms and schools are not following other
regulations meant to protect these students from

Because the U. S. Department of Education hasn't
required states to comply with the law,
"parents often must
sue to enforce the law . . . "

The National Council on Disability found that:
"Nearly 6
million American children receive special education instruction and services at a cost of almost $40 billion, about $5.7 billion of which is federal money."

"Federal efforts to enforce the law over several
administrations have been inconsistent, ineffective and
lacking any real teeth. . .


After examining compliance reports from 1994 to 1998,
National Council on Disability concluded that:

 * "36 states failed to ensure that children with disabilities
     are not segregated from regular classrooms."

 * "44 states failed to follow rules requiring schools to
students find jobs or continue their education."

 * "45 states failed to ensure that local school authorities
     adhered to nondiscrimination laws."

The Council concluded that special education will not fulfill
its mission until states are required to comply with the law.

The Associated Press reports,
 "The council made dozens
of recommendations to strengthen federal enforcement. They include giving the Justice Department independent authority to investigate cases and take states to court; providing more money for enforcement and handling of complaints; and creating a process for handling complaints at the federal level."

For an easy-to-read copy of this article, go to --

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In planning your daily, weekly schedule for your child with Autism-Spectrum Disorder (ASD), you should make a plan to fill up the "dead-time" in your child's day.

Try an experiment for ONE DAY. Go through the entire "regular day" with your ASD child and actually count the number of minutes that your child is in
time". The result may surprise you.

What   is  "Dead-Time"?

  1.  Dead time is time OUTSIDE therapies
       and school.

  2. Dead time is sitting in a car going from one
      place to
another. Typical children will look
     around, look out
the window and comment on
     what is seen, or just chat.
Your ASD child will
     just sit absorbing nothing of
     Your ASD child is in "dead-time".

  3. Dead time is waiting in any lineup, super-
room, lobby, hallway, or classroom,
     as people around
the child are either waiting
     for something or someone,
or engaged in a
     busy activity or conversation. Your
     child is usually having at least some fun
making their own fun by getting into trouble),
 absorbing the new elements of a different
     Your ASD child is in "dead-time".

  4. Dead time also can be that late afternoon time
      (4:00 -6:00 pm),  when everyone is coming
      home from
schoolwork, snack-time is on,
      then supper is getting
prepared, maybe the
      house is getting tidied up a bit.
Everyone is a
      little tired and getting  ready for the last
      of the day. No one is "on" your ASD child
     on a one-to-one basis.
      Your ASD child is in "dead-time".

  5. Dead time is time your child spends
nothing while in transit from one place to
waiting for something else to happen,
     or waiting  for
someone to arrive or to go
     someplace. Whether or not
there are other
     family members around, there is no one
     focused on that child -- spending one-on-one
 interaction specifically and exclusively with that
There is nothing in the child's hands on
    which to focus
his attention and teaming, even
    if only for a few

 ALL dead time is valuable time that should be filled  with SOMETHING.  Dead time is usually a very significant amount of time in the day.  It can be filled up with some consideration and planning, introducing little elements of the child's program in little pieces at a time.

How can you fill the "Dead Time" with productive
learning for your ASD Child?

                (Continued on page 3)