Special needs parents upset over state's new continuing ed requirement

Special needs parents upset over state's new continuing ed requirement

MEDINA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - A new Ohio Supreme Court Ruling designed to protect adults who are declared to be legally "incompetent" is creating quite a stir among parents of special needs children.

The ruling requires that all guardians complete a 3-hour guardianship continuing education course provided by the Ohio Supreme Court Judicial College.

In Medina County, "every guardian not related to the ward by blood or marriage must meet the guardianship fundamentals training requirements under the new rules by completing a 6-hour guardian fundamentals course provided by the Supreme Court of Ohio, or with prior approval of this Court, another entity.

This would include friends, volunteer guardians or attorney guardians," said Kim Cronenwett, the paralegal and secretary to Judge Kevin Dunn, a probate court judge.

Parents of special needs adults though, like Terri Noe, of Wadsworth said there is no benefit to her to taking the courses that are designed to address issues related to being a guardian.

She said she has raised her child and knows how to provide for her daughter - having to take courses every year creates an unnecessary hassle.  

"You can't put everyone together in one lump and require everyone to do the same," said Noe.

Judge Dunn said the new guidelines were created to protect adults with special needs, not to offend good parents.

"There are no parenting classes required of guardians in the Medina County Probate Court. A parent of a special needs child likely has mastered the skills needed to accomplish the activities of daily living with their son or daughter, however the duties of a guardian may be new or unfamiliar to them," added Judge Dunn's assistant through a written statement, "any guardian can petition the court to be exempt from any training, and the court will consider
each such petition on a case by case basis."

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