CHAPTER

3

NOT YET THE BEST OF TIMES

LIKE THE OPENING LINES of Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities, the world you and your disabled child live in could be described as ‘‘the best of times’’ and ‘‘the worst of times.’’ More is known about developmental disabilities than at any other time in history, but there is still much to discover. Laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provide many services never dreamed of fifty years ago. At the same time, new cases of autism alone are occurring in epidemic proportions. Other disabilities are on the rise as well. Existing educational and other services are having difficulty keeping up.

In reality, some of the changes have created ...

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