Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The problem is sorely misunderstood. . .

As a parent of a special needs child, I was concerned to hear that my school district, Fort Wayne Community Schools, was the target of 3 cases filed against them by special education parents. This concerns me because it affects my child and causes me to question the quality of care and equal treatment my son has a right to by law. These parents are to be commended for being an advocate for their child's education. We have had to fight the administration at my son's previous school to guarantee him an appropriate education. This so-called principal told us that "Maybe it's time you give up and decide he needs to be institutionalized" THIS WAS A 6 YEAR OLD!! She also told me that, "Every child is in this school by my grace. If I don't want them here, they won't be" I went home, wrote emails to my senators, state representatives, state lawmakers as well as the superintendent of Indiana schools. The following day she said in a meeting that she had said no such thing. LIE! I brought in an advocacy group called IN*SOURCE that helps parents fight for what the law provides for. I fought for my son's education and now at ten years old, he is beginning to function appropriately for his disability.

In my experience the teachers, with only one small exception, have been very helpful and understanding. The "exception" should not have been teaching special education students and since that first episode has quit special education and is in a "regular" classroom. The Special Education Office has been completely behind us and as helped in every way possible. It is typically the administration at the school that struggles with anything that deviates from the norm. They continue to treat each child that has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) like any other student even though their specialized plan outlines other objectives, more chances and fewer consequences. They often times refuse to accept that these children are different for a reason, and deserve the difference in treatment.

I hope that the school district does not suffer for these law suits, however I hope that the person who let this "fall through the cracks" be held responsible for the aftermath.
Last night I saw a report on this situaiton on a local news channel. They only addressed how kids with dyslexia often struggle. HUH?? That had nothing to do with the situation outlined in the Fort Wayne newspapers. That proves that no one completely understands that struggles that parents with special needs go through not to mention the children themselves. The issue is behavior control, consequences, and the ability to meet each child on his or her level AND help them learn and grow. The IEP is meant to promote success and help the child meet goals that they CAN acheive with specialized help. It is most importantly for the staff, ALL the staff, of the school to see where that child is and how they can help them meet those goals.

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