Special education can be a daunting puzzle that many parents have trouble solving. It helps to have the picture before you begin to put the pieces in place. Unfortunately, many school districts, who are supposed to be on the side of the child, play “hide the box” and make a parent’s job next to impossible.
I know. I've been there.
As a parent of a special needs child who was given a doom and gloom prognosis at the age of two, I fought to give him a chance. In those days, there was no internet. There were few attorneys around the country who could help, and, in fact, there were few laws that effectively protected students from isolation, sub-standard instruction, and institutionalization. But that was then. And this is now.
Much has changed. My son graduated Phi Beta Kappa from college, is in law school, lives on his own, having overcome the label that others sought to use to limit his opportunity.
But some school districts continue to deny that opportunity to many students, based on predetermined assumptions about children with disabilities -- assumptions that often discriminate against the disabled and lead them to a future of limited choice and dependency. I know that college isn’t a realistic goal for some of the kids with whom I work. But shutting the door before a child has a chance to see if he or she can open it defies logic, reason and the law.
I started my journey in special education the way many of us do – with "THE DIAGNOSIS". I continue that journey to share with others what I have learned with my own son. As a special education consultant in California, I work with school districts and parents to collaborate toward a productive resolution. From crafting goals, extinguishing behavior, and keeping the expectations high, I have helped countless families rise from functional programs to mainstream classrooms. In Arizona, when parents and advocates with whom I work are at an impasse with a school, I fight like only a mother can to give each child the chance at a future, using the law as my calling card. I have learned a lot along the way. This web site is designed to share with you some resources, research and ideas to help you help your child. I learn something new every day. Come with me and let's share the rest of the journey together.