I created this blog to help you advocate for your child and navigate the special education process with ease. I suffered in silence for years trying to help my sons thrive in school. I felt like I was beating my head against the wall most days. It was exhausting and I felt hopeless.
Each of our paths is different. We all want what's best for our children. Our children need us in their corner on their good days and bad days.
I sent my sons to a private school after my husband and I retired from the military. They attended private school for five years before we moved them to a charter school. My youngest son was your typical preschooler, but he starting having behavioral issues in first grade. He would run away when he was stressed or thought he was going to get in trouble on the playground, he wouldn't listen to his teachers, and he started talking back to his teachers.
I remember his school principal telling me that he “needs to be broken” after being sent to her office numerous times. That was the most insensitive thing anyone could tell me. I felt like I had nowhere to turn as I struggled to find a therapist that could help him. The school didn't offer any resources or accommodations. Instead, the principal smugly told me that she didn't need to follow federal special education laws because they were a private school. I felt broken as I watched my youngest son's behavior continue to spiral out of control. We finally decided to move him to a charter school. I finally felt like I would get him the help that he needed. It wasn't easy and I still had to advocate for him.
I had to learn as much as possible about special education. I researched Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 plans to the point that I wanted to give up. I served over 20 years in the military and I've practiced law for over twenty years. I felt completely out of my comfort zone.
It took me a year, but I finally got my oldest son a 504 plan and my youngest son an IEP. It wasn't easy. I continually have to advocate for them even on the days that I want to give up. No one should suffer in silence like I did. The process should not be as difficult as it is. Just remember, you are your child's biggest advocate. Don't give up on them and don't give up on advocating for their rights and getting them the help they desperately need. They need you in their corner on their best and worst days.