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Nearly 2,000 NYC children with disabilities could be stranded without pre-K seats this spring

01.30.2020 | Chalkbeat NY | Three-year-old Aiden Flores, who has autism and is nonverbal, has been at home in East New York without services since December, when he aged out of Early Intervention services for children with disabilities and became eligible to enroll in preschool.

Even though the education department determined last October that Aiden needed a special education placement with a smaller class size, they have been unable to offer him one, leaving him without any instruction or the speech and behavior therapy that was helping him become more expressive and social.

“I did my own research, I was calling schools,” said Juanita Lopez, Aiden’s mother. “And I’m like, ‘What do you mean? You don’t even have one for me to tour?’”

Officials at Advocates for Children, which is helping the family, said the education department is exploring options and offered a seat in a classroom that has twice as many students as Aiden’s special education learning plan calls for — an imperfect option Lopez is reluctant to accept. Read article