Special Education/Course acceleration


Hello. I'm not sure that this falls under special education, but I wasn't sure who else to ask. My son is going into 8th grade in Texas. He is both exceptionally gifted and on the autism spectrum. This summer, he passed several Credit by Examination in math, and therefore is several years ahead in math. The district is proposing that he go to the high school in the morning for precalculus and then return to middle school for,the remainder of his day. They will not provide transportation and I am unable to get him from the high school to the middle school every morning due to my work schedule. I proposed that he either study math online (independently at the middle school, with a teacher assigned for consultation) or that he take an elective instead of math this year. I'm told that neither option is possible. Just wondering if it's true that he's unable to skip math for a year when he's already several years ahead. He will continue to study independently at home regardless of the decision,
Thanks for your help.

Hello, Michelle and thank you for writing to me about your son. Since it appears your son has an IEP, and the IEP team must decide the 'placement', transportation should be provided. If they refuse, maybe consider setting up Uber or taxi for your son and asking the school district to reimburse you. You may have to seek a mediation for this, but I would try first with the special education supervisor who oversees the middle school. I would not like to see an interruption in his math curriculum since this is obviously an area of giftedness and the school district and all of us will benefit from his great math mind!

I hope this helps you! I wish you all the best as you advocate for you exceptional child's education!

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Michelle R. Davis, M. Ed.


I can answer questions about disability definitions and criteria for services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, No Child Left Behind, 504 plans, how to craft an IEP that drives the appropriate services, school placement, dispute options, and least restrictive environment. I worked in the public school system as a special educator and am now in private consulting practice where we assist parents as they navigate the special education process. I have expertise in all educational disabilities except blind/visual impairments and deaf/hard of hearing. This includes ADHD and other health impairments, medical conditions, dyslexia and learning disabilities, Autism, emotional disabilities, language processing problems, and interfering behaviors.


10 years as special educator and administrator in public school system; Director of ABCs for Life Success since 1998; Expert services such as analysis and testimony; Author: Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book: What you can do now to advocate for your exceptional child's education; Special Needs Advocacy Training Institute; internet radio show Teach Your Children Well: Hot Topics in Education; author School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders released March 2010 (Prufrock Press).

Masters in Special Education with Emphasis on Inclusive Education (Johns Hopkins University); B.S.in Special Education (James Madison University); Conduct training for Universities, public and private schools, parent groups. Adjunct professor current George Washington University and prior George Mason University.

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