Our Story - FamilyEducation
Our Story
08/06/2007 at 13:29 PM

I write this in hopes that other parents will not face the same battle, and if you do, learn how to fight back for your whole family.


My eleven year-old daughter started in Kindergarten with special services. The school system came to her childcare center and helped us there. It was very overwhelming! We had to learn a new language and customs to help understand her - before we could even begin to think of helping her.


Over the years, she progressed through the system, received testing through a psychological/psychiatric center, and through the school system itself. She started out as DD, Developmentally Delayed. Then when she was nine, moved to OHI, Other Health Impaired. At the date of the last testing, she had an average IQ. (about three years ago)


My mom recalls the special ed teacher vigorously objecting to the results of the testing, saying they seemed backwards. At that, and every IEP ever since, we fought for academic goals to be included in the IEPs. The counselor always told us it was not possible, the system would not allow it. She even brought out a book one time of regs and showed me what she said was support for her choice.


In the three years since being tested, the normal range for our state, my daughter's IQ dropped more than twenty points! Full testing verified this at the hospital where is now. It is her fifth stay, and hopefully will be her last.


The people at the hospital recently told us that academic goals can be included in an IEP where the child is labeled as OHI! Years later, we just found out that the school counselor chose to ignore this, and the system backed her up.


I don't know why they did this; I just want to make sure it does not happen to my younger daughter too. She gets services too.


My older one has suffered greatly and it is now believed that a majority of her issues stem from frustrations at school. She has a difficult time understanding directions, remembering them, and organizing herself to complete a task.


Plus, she feels bad because she knows other kids are further along, where she could be if the school decided to do what was in her best interest, and not what they did instead. Her therapist says she is motivated to learn, curious, funny, sweet, likes to help others and wants to succeed.


She will attend a private school, thanks to the generosity of my grandparents, and I feel that they will actually help her. The principal retired from the system, and knows what they do to kids. She has made herself clear that she is there to help them, not label and push them aside.


I only wish I could bring the teachers along that tried to help my daughter, the ones that truly care. Life is hard enough for someone like her, and this counselor - and the system- helped ensure her failure in school. Now, we are left picking up the pieces.


Please parents, do not believe everything the schools say, without doing some checking. Get online and find advocates in your area that are independent, and will help you fight for your child's rights. Do not wait until there is a problem to know the facts. Learn the language now, and ask questions.


Children need us to help fight for them. Remember, if this seems like alot to us, what does it seem like to the children?

Hey mom2to,


I am sorry your daughter has had such a hard time and that she had teachers that didn't work in her best interest.


Hopefully, your post will help others parents who are facing similar situations.


Keep us posted on how she does in her new school.






i am in a special needs class. and one of our decusions is to get a parents view on how haveing a special needs student in the family is. does your child have a spicific disorder or anything. i would like to find out and see what your veiws are. please get back to me in her by thursday. thank you





My name is Lindsey and I am a students in a class for special needs children.  I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions about the troubles you had with your daughter's school and the lack of help they offered to you.  I have a sister with ADD and I know that my parents went through several of the same problems, but not to the severity of yours.  They actually had pretty good luck after working really hard to get her what she was entitled through the school system.

If you could tell me about some of the experiences you had inside the home as far as behavior and homework and the concentration level of your daughter, that would help me out tremendously in answering some questions that my teacher has been asking us.

I really appreciate your time and help in answering my questions.  Thank you!




My son is only 4, but I can only imagine the problems we're going to face w/ our school system.  Out of approx 500 kids enrolled, 100 and something receive spec ed services.  That's a huge majority!  So far the school has worked w/ us to supply our son with the services he needs, but they're pushing to get him into district ASAP, which I believe is too soon.  Right now, our son is enrolled in a pre-school disabled program, and he's progressing well.  I'm afraid, though, once he's solely in district, he will fall behind.  The school he's in now has a small class size and  an excellent           student/teacher ratio which is exactly what our son needs.  He performs so much better in smaller settings and in 1 on 1 situations.  But throw him into a class w/ 25 kids, he'll be lost.  Also, our town will only offer an aid for kids who are considered severely handicapped.  Other kids are left to fend for themselves.  It's horrible!  Right now our town is paying for our son's services, but I don't know how long that'll last.  It's all about money, and never about the best interest of the child.  If my husband and I can afford it, we'll most likely hire a private tutor.  It's also good to find a lawyer that's experienced in these situations b/c then you're sure to get what you deserve for your child.  My son has a developmental delay w/ processing and word finding difficulties.  He has never been diagnosed officially, so it's a wait and see situation.  My thinking is that he's either learning disabled or just a slow learner.  But no one will give him a definitive label.  My feeling is, as long as he's in limbo w/ a vague diagnosis, the school can get away w/ not providing all the right services.  I also have read that slow learners often fall through the system's cracks b/c they're not really considered disabled.  It's ridiculous.  Right now we have the backing of outside therapists who we feel are working to ensure that our son gets what he needs.  However, once our son turns 5, our insurance will no longer cover these therapies, therefore leaving us to solely rely on the school system.  My advice, though, is if you can afford to pay for outside services, do it, b/c in my eyes, the school district will always try to weasel out of things, especially if they feel they can get away w/ it.  It's sad really, and we're only getting started.  I wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely, concerned mom