It was not so long ago that if you gave birth to a child with disabilities, the doctor would give you a sympathetic look and say "I'm sorry. We'll institutionalize this child and you can try again for a healthy baby."
Kids with disabilities were not invited to attend public schools. In fact, they were written off as unteachable. In the 1950's and 60's that began to change, in part thanks to the Grandfather of Early Childhood Special Education, Dr. David Franks.
David Franks recognized that if you could diagnose children with special needs – delays in motor, speech, or social skills – at an early age, you could address those delays – with the goal of getting that child ready to enter kindergarten along with his or her peers. For more than 40 years he was a major influence in Wisconsin's cutting edge approach to special education.
In our full-length interview, you'll get a tour of how special education was born, how it evolved, where it is headed. You'll hear how Dr. Franks helped design a program at UWEC to teach teachers how to teach children with disabilities. You'll listen in on a man who is passionate about the possibilities of education – starting from the moment we are born as unique and potent individuals.
Dr. David Franks, In Person. Only on Eau Claire's own Emmy-award-winning News 18. For the kid in all of us.
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