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Nonfiction Book Award - Gold - 150Nonfiction Book Award Status: Gold

Author Names: Mark K. Claypool and John M. McLaughlin


Special education in the United State is based on the concept of access—public schools are open to all children. But access is no longer a sufficient foundation. Approaches and accommodations that lead to academic success are increasingly demanded for those with learning disabilities. Functional, independent-living, and employable skills are requisite, but rare, for those with serious handicapping conditions. Since the last reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, four events have transpired that will have a dramatic impact on the next iteration of the federal law: the increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism, the rise of applied behavior analysis, the birth of social media, and the reality of unbundling. In How Autism Is Reshaping Special Education: The Unbundling of IDEA, Claypool and McLaughlin explore the effect of these events on a special education process burdened by regulation, where advances in the behavioral sciences and neurosciences blur the lines between education and medicine, and where social media fosters aggressive advocacy How Autism Is Reshaping Special Educationfor specific disabilities.

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Author Bios:

Mark K. Claypool is the founder and chief executive officer of ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy and Education, the nation’s leading provider of behavior, physical, occupational, and speech therapy and alternative and special education programs for children and young adults. In recognition of the company’s social mission to offer hope, Claypool was named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year® 2016 in the social responsibility category in the Southeast. Claypool obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master of arts degree in sociology from Middle Tennessee State University. He is president of the board of directors of Book’em, a Nashville nonprofit that seeks to inspire a love of books and reading in all children, and a judge of the annual Penn Graduate School of Education Business Plan Competition. He is a frequent speaker about the value of public-private partnerships in education and behavioral health, and coauthor of We’re in This Together: Public-Private Partnerships in Special and At-Risk Education (2015).

John M. McLaughlin, PhD, is an executive vice president and the director of research and analytics for ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy and Education, formerly Educational Services of America. He has been with the company since 1999. Prior to joining ChanceLight, McLaughlin founded Benton Hall School in Nashville, now in its 40th year; was a tenured professor of educational administration at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota; and, through the 1990s, wrote monthly on education reform in The Education Industry Report. McLaughlin has spoken extensively to groups ranging from the American Association of School Administrators to the World Bank. His first book of fiction, The Last Year of the Season (2014), was followed by a work of nonfiction, We’re in This Together: Public-Private Partnerships in Special and At-Risk Education (2015), also coauthored with Mark K. Claypool. He holds degrees from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Minnesota.

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