Health And Special Education: A Study Of New Developments For Handicapped Children In Five Metropolitan Communities
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Health And Special Education: A Study Of New Developments For Handicapped Children In Five Metropolitan Communities

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  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
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    Since the implementation in 1977 of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142), public school systems have provided special education and related services to students with a wide range of handicapping conditions, including some children served previously in hospitals or other institutions. Although the Federal law does not require physician participation in the special education process, it does imply an active new role for the medical care community, both public and private, in helping schools to identify and diagnose children with disabilities and in ensuring that those children have adequate access to health services. This study explores the experience of five nationally dispersed urban school systems in implementing P.L. 94-142, with particular reference to the interaction of physicians and the schools. The findings highlight continued problems with early identification of certain types of childhood handicaps, classification of children's functional disorders, and adequate participation of practicing physicians in the program, especially with regard to developmental and behavioral issues. In addition, inequities in community health services are documented for a substantial number of the children studied. Improved collaboration between the health and education sectors is needed to address these concerns in order to fulfill the intent of national special education policy and to maximize the potentialities of these children and their families.
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