When it comes to giving students with disabilities the best education possible, early intervention and early detection are crucial – but not all families are equipped to access the resources they need.

On this week’s podcast, Shana Cohen, assistant professor of education studies at UC San Diego, joined co-hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn to talk about how children from different cultures sometimes receive varied levels of services for developmental disabilities.

“A lot of times, it’s an issue of advocacy,” Cohen said. “So a lot of white middle-class families, they know where to go to get the services that their child needs. A lot of Latino families or African-Americans families might not know where to go.”

There’s also an information gap when it comes to looking out for symptoms of developmental disability, Cohen said.

Seth Schwartz, an attorney who works with families of children with disabilities, also joined the podcast, and Lewis and Kohn discuss a study by the National Center on Education Outcomes that found special education students can perform at grade level with adequate accommodations.

Got thoughts, opinions or experiences with this? Call 619-354-1085 and leave your name, neighborhood and story so we can play the voicemail on future episodes.

Number of the Week

12 percent: The percentage of K-12 students in San Diego County receiving special education services, an increase from 10 percent over the past five years.

What’s Working

Healthy Development Services, through the American Academy of Pediatrics, sends providers to engage with San Diego County families and identify and treat children with mild to moderate disabilities.

Subscribe to Good Schools for All on iTunes or get the RSS feed here. Stream it here.

Rachel Evans is a reporter for Voice of San Diego. She can be reached at rachel.evans@voiceofsandiego.org

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