Letters to the editor for Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015

Nevada’s children deserve strong start

I am and early childhood special education teacher in Douglas County. I work with children who have been diagnosed developmentally delayed. Under this diagnosis, children are able to receive preschool and other support services as needed to help them develop and master skills similar to that of same-aged peers.

My concern is the classification of students of developmentally delayed ends when they turn 6, often in the middle of their kindergarten year. Unless they can get a diagnosis under a different category, they are no longer eligible to receive services. They just get dropped.

Federally, a student can be diagnosed with developmental delay through the age of 8. Nevada doesn’t recognize developmental delay after 6, leaving many of these students hanging without services that they have been receiving and need. Why? These are critical years that are wasted when we know that intervention and support in the early years is critical to long-term success.

If we followed federal guidelines and kept the developmental delay category through age 8, our students would receive services and support that would keep them from getting so far behind and possibly get them to the point where they did not need services at all.

To the governor and legislators, please give our children the strong start and continued support they need in these early years. Let’s start Nevada’s move toward the top in education in this country.

Kristen Peck



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