Back to Home

Book Review: How Autism Is Reshaping Special Education

The following is a review originally published in the March, 2nd 2017 edition of EDUCATION NEWS –

NASHVILLE, TennesseeHow Autism Is Reshaping Special Education: The Unbundling of IDEA by Mark K. Claypool and John M. McLaughlin will be released on March 28, 2017.  Published by Rowman and Littlefield, How Autism is Reshaping Special Education will be released in trade paper (ISBN: 978-1-4758-3497-0 • $25.00 ) hardcover (ISBN: 978-1-4758-3496-3 • $50.00) and eBook editions (ISBN: 978-1-4758-3498-7 • $24.99).

In their latest book, How Autism Is Reshaping Special Education, recognized thought-leaders Mark K. Claypool and John M. McLaughlin deliver a timely, thoughtful, and thought-provoking look at one of the fundamental components of public schooling—special education and its foundational law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

An innovative and meticulously researched guide, How Autism Is Reshaping Special Education sheds light on a modern day conundrum:  while special education in the United States is based on the concept of access—public schools are open to all children—access is no longer a sufficient foundation. Approaches that lead to academic success are increasingly demanded for those with learning disabilities, while functional, independent-living, and employable skills are requisite, but rare, for those with serious handicapping conditions.

In their groundbreaking new book, the authors explain how four major events have transpired since the last reauthorization of IDEA : the increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism, the rise of applied behavior analysis, the birth of social media, and the reality of unbundling. In addition to examining how these four events will dramatically impact the next iteration of federal law, How Autism Is Reshaping Special Education explores the effect of these events on a special education process burdened by regulation, where advances in the behavioral sciences and neurosciences blur the lines between education and medicine, and where social media fosters aggressive advocacy for specific disabilities.

In crafting the book, Claypool and McLaughlin, authors of the award-winning We’re In This Together: Public-Private Partnerships in Special and At-Risk Education, sought the expertise and input of dozens of educators, parents, leaders, experts, administrators, special education professionals, and others as a means of presenting a sensitive and accurate portrait of autism and special education today. These perspectives, featured prominently throughout the book, underscore the need for change to benefit children with autism spectrum disorders and their families. Moreover, How Autism Is Reshaping Special Education addresses such topics as: current development of the profession of applied behavior analysis; relative position of autism compared to other disabilities inside of special education; how advocacy for special needs communities has become more aggressive; how Autism Speaks became a business disruptor among advocacy groups; the impact of social media on advocacy;  how IDEA will be affected by the political phenomenon of unbundling; and more.

A clear, comprehensive and compelling guide, How Autism Is Reshaping Special Education will be available where fine books are sold in March.

About the authors:  Mark K. Claypool is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy and Education, the nation’s leading provider of behavior, physical, occupational and speech therapy and alternative and special education programs for children and young adults. John M. McLaughlin, PhD, is a school founder, professor, and Director of Research & Analytics at ChanceLight. McLaughlin is the author of The Last Year of the Season (North Star Press, 2014), a tale of education intrigue in fictional St. Luke, Minnesota. Mark Claypool and John McLaughlin also authored We’re In This Together: Public-Private Partnerships in Special and At-Risk Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), which won an Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) for education commentary/theory, was named a finalist in the education category of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and was a winner in the education category of the 2016 International  Book Awards.

Leave a Reply