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PA News

Roman’s Law for Autistic Students Passes PA Senate

Bill now goes to State House for consideration.

Roman’s Law, a piece of companion legislation to a bill co-sponsored by State Rep. Dane Watro (R-116), passed the State Senate on Monday.

Senate Bill 1157, sponsored by Sen. Dave Argall (R-29), is also known as Roman’s Law. It’s named after a Luzerne County boy, Roman DeAngelo, whose parents have long-advocated for a change in Pennsylvania’s school enrollment rules.

Under Roman’s Law, any child diagnosed with autism who has reached the compulsory school age of 6 can request a waiver from the Dept. of Education to delay enrollment for one year. Children with autism and other developmental and intellectual disabilities qualify under Roman’s Law.

Also, these children would be eligible for early intervention services during the waiver period.

The Senate bill passed by a 28-22 vote on Monday. It now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“An extra year of specialized support can make a world of difference for these kids,” Argall says in a statement released after Monday’s vote. “Parents deserve the chance to find the right path for their children.”

Watro told the Senate’s Education Committee back in April, “A delayed start would allow for early intervention programs to provide the necessary supports for these youngsters to develop the social and emotional skills necessary for future success, and to be better prepared when they enter the classroom.”

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