Leading Experts Mark Claypool and John McLaughlin Honored by Human Relations Indie Book Awards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 20, 2017) – ChanceLight Behavioral Health, Therapy and Education announced today that CEO Mark Claypool and Executive Vice President John McLaughlin received top national honors from the Human Relations Indie Book Awards for their book, How Autism Is Reshaping Special Education: The Unbundling of IDEA.

Both Claypool and McLaughlin frequently provide expert commentary on the regulations impacting behavioral health and special education programs throughout the country. Earlier this year, in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of an improved standard of education for children with disabilities. The book explores the environment behind this ruling, the unbundling of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the impact of autism on special education.

“Children with disabilities are ensured a free, appropriate public education based on the IDEA, but due to key educational, societal and regulatory changes since its last reauthorization in 2004, substantial changes are needed to ensure children with autism spectrum and other behavioral health disorders receive the education they need to reach their full potential,” Claypool said. “Our latest book addresses the importance of developing a more innovative approach to special education as a result of the increased number of children diagnosed with autism, the rise of applied behavior analysis therapy for autism, the birth of social media and the reality of unbundling the IDEA.”

“Sadly, over the years, special education has gravitated away from its original role as a champion of care for those with disabilities,” McLaughlin said. “Our book highlights the current system and reasons why simply providing access to education is no longer sufficient. We must do more than provide a desk for these children in the classroom; we must look at reshaping IDEA so it reflects recent scientific advances and social changes and provides children with disabilities more tailored, effective education and therapy.”

The Human Relations Indie Book Awards recognize indie authors who have written books with a human relations focus related to various interactions among people in different settings such as work, organizations, school, home, family or in personal lives. Claypool and McLaughlin received the overall Director’s Choice Award, the Gold Award in the category of Problem Solving, the Gold Award in the category of Education, and a Bronze in the category of Special Needs.

This is the second award-winning book co-authored by Claypool and McLaughlin. The first, We’re in this Together: Public-Private Partnerships in Special and At-Risk Education, explored efforts to serve students at-risk of dropping out and students in special education including the disconnect between the needs of young children with autism and public school special education services.

About ChanceLight
ChanceLight™ is the nation’s leading provider of behavioral health, therapy and education solutions for children and young adults. We change the direction of children’s lives by offering them the opportunity to create successful, independent futures.

ChanceLight serves more than 19,000 clients and students annually at more than 150 locations in 27 states across its three divisions.

ChanceLight Behavioral Health serves children and young adults with autism spectrum and other behavioral disorders, pediatric developmental delays and physical challenges. ChanceLight Therapy offers physical, occupational and speech therapy services for infants, toddlers, children and young adults who have complex medical and developmental needs. ChanceLight Education includes our alternative education program, Ombudsman Educational Services, which partners with more than 100 school districts to serve at-risk students; and Spectrum Center Schools and Programs, which partners with more than 100 school districts to operate schools and programs for students with special needs.