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 Disability Information - DiGeorge Syndrome or Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome (VCFS)

 

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 General Information

For more information, visit http://www.vcfsef.org/.

 

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 Education & Classroom Accommodations

Most children with VCFS will require some type of special education service as they progress from kindergarten through college age. Many children with this syndrome are served in the public schools through the IDEA Act (Individuals With Disabilities Education Act) in the categories of Speech and Language, Learning Disabilities and Other Health Impairment. Parents may refer their child for special education testing by contacting their local school district. This initial contact can be made as early as age three.
Once a referral has been made, the school district must convene a special education team to evaluate the suspected area(s) of need. School districts have 90 days in which to do this evaluation, develop an education plan and, if required, offer placement. Parents must give their permission for their child to be tested. Parents are a part of this team and can make suggestions regarding which areas to test. They can also provide information to the team that they have gathered through outside testing, medical reports, articles, studies, etc.

Once a child has been evaluated, the team will meet to determine if the child meets the criteria for needing special education services. This determination should be made based on norm based test scores, classroom performance indicators, medical records, and interviews with teachers and parents. No single test (such as an IQ test) can be used as the sole determining factor as to whether a child should qualify for special education services. The team must consider several assessments to make this determination.

Children with VCFS often have many deficits which should be explored when considering special education placement. Many VCFS children do not function well in a large group setting without reteaching / small group opportunities for learning. Although the type of program needed will vary from individual to individual, there are areas of need that seem to be shared by a great many children with this syndrome. Professionals should take a close look at these target areas when a child is referred for evaluation.

 

The remainder of this article: Educating the Child with Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome: A Handbook for Parents and Professionals

 

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