Ky. kids born drug-exposed entering school, special education sees jump

I’m to the point where there needs to
be a disability category called fetal drug syndrome. And that’s where I’m at. And I know NAS is one of the buzz words
now for those syndromes that we’re seeing, but we do have students that
enroll in our school system, and so do every other school
system across the state, that have kids that are enrolling with
significant developmental delays. We are starting to see disabilities
more prevalent than what they were 20, 30 years ago. Years ago, we used to have a disability
category, and it’s still there, called fetal alcohol syndrome. And those were the kids that were
born in homes with alcoholic mothers. And those kids would
be all over the place. They may have low cognitive functioning,
or have higher cognitive functioning but
very low social skills functioning. Hal Rogers’ congressional district has
one of the highest rates of drug usage in the United States of America. It’s as high as urban areas such
as Los Angeles, San Francisco, places that you would automatically assume
have a higher rate of drug addiction. That directly correlates with the increase in disabilities that we
have in our school system. It directly correlates with
the fact that we have so many kids in the foster care system. And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure
out that there’s a correlation to that. But Letcher County,
as every other county in this state, are going into extra efforts to get
those kids as early as possible. Because the earlier you get them,
the earlier you start working with them, the more likely they are to exit
the program before they turn nine and be at the same level as
all other same-age peers. And that’s what all of our goal is, we want all of our kids to be
as successful as possible. And to do that,
we have to start with them early, we have to be intense in what we do, and
we have to be intentional in what we do. And our kids need to grow and
we need qualified people to do that. [BLANK_AUDIO]

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