EDITOR’S NOTE: This blog entry was originally written to parents in Delaware, but the general theme of it applies to parents everywhere!
When I started this blog journey by telling my son’s special education story from a Delaware Charter school, I promised I had no political agenda. That has changed. The only way things can change for these kids is through legislation and hammering the points home to those who need to listen the most.
I am not running for any type of office, but I believe new legislation needs to be passed so children with special needs and disabilities have more rights in the state of Delaware. I have talked to many parents from different states, and when they hear about the types of things that go on in Delaware in terms of special education, they are shocked.
All special needs parents need to stand united. We need to stand up to the schools and let them know they are not doing the best they can. Some teachers do, some special education specialists do, but not nearly enough. No one knows our children better than we do. So why must we fight so hard to get our children what they deserve? Why do we have to go to endless meetings and fight for even the most basic of accommodations? Is it a funding issue? Is it that the schools are so arrogant to truly believe they know what is best for OUR children?
Things need to change, and they need to change as soon as possible. I go to a support group for special needs parents. Tonight was our last meeting until September, but I know we will all be there to support each other over the summer. Every town should have one of these groups if they don’t already. It has helped me, and I know it has helped others. The biggest thing for these types of groups is confidentiality. I promised everyone I wouldn’t blog about their experiences!
As parents, we see what our children go through. We see their daily struggles at school and home. We know immediately when they need us more than the school. We know why they do certain things that the schools just don’t seem to understand. We understand that all their behavior is not intentional. What we don’t know is why the schools don’t want to get this.
The Delaware Department of Education is having their monthly school board meeting tomorrow in Dover at 1pm in the Townshend Building, across from the new library. On their agenda is to go over the IDEA Annual Performance Report. I am very interested to hear what is in this report. I can guarantee not every single special education matter is in that report.
Many parents who have gone beyond the DOE know this. The DOE knows this. So what happens to all of those children who are not accounted for in that report? According to the DOE website, there are very few due process hearings in Delaware. Those that don’t go to a due process tend to get resolved through a mediation of some sort.
I spent hours last night going through these reports from the Delaware DOE on their website: Continue reading