What if I told you not to expect the best for your child at school?
That you can’t.
That it would be ridiculous to even ask for more than a little so don’t waste your time.
How would that make you feel?
Imagine for a moment that you have a son who doesn’t speak. Not a child who cannot speak; but doesn’t speak.
Even after three years of speech therapy, his words are limited.
You’ve tried to get him ABA Therapy (which is considered the best), but the demand is so high that the waitlists are as long as three years.
Your son has been waiting for two.
Out of sheer will and desperation, you reach out to every resource you can find.
You do not lose hope.
After hundreds of phone calls, texts and emails you finally find a therapist who is available to work with him.
You do not let the two-hour drive stand in the way.
You hear him say his name for the first time after two sessions.
After visit number three you hear him say yours.
His progress is remarkable.
When you learn that he can get this therapy at school you are ecstatic.
Your prayers have been answered.
You finally found the right therapist, and now she can help your son and countless others! There are so many children whose parents cannot afford the fees and travel expenses.
Enthusiasm and excitement replace your anxiety.
But not for long.
Soon you’re overwhelmed with confusion and frustration, then anger and outrage, because when you approach the Special Education Department about adding this therapy to your son’s IEP plan, you hit a wall.
Before any real consideration, they tell you no.
Without a glance at the two physician’s recommendation’s for ABA Therapy you have, they say no.
They inform you that this therapy, the only one that works for your son, is over and above what the school is legally bound to offer.
You hear the words “Free” and “Appropriate” which make you think, “Who decides what’s appropriate for my son?”
When you ask what they provide that’s unique to your child’s needs, they rattle off a list of general programs.
Programs that have not been successful for your child.
Now, what would you do?
Go ahead with the plan that hasn’t been working to keep the peace?
Or be an advocate for your child and demand the therapy that helps him?
All kids with Special Needs deserve the best. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) verbiage should never be used to suggest that they settle for less.
If you need help with your child’s IEP, it is available.
Visit Wright’s Law for information on how to improve your child’s education.