Wrightslaw  l  Wrightslaw Way Blog  l  IDEA 2004  l  Store  l  Yellow Pages for Kids

 Home > Press Room > Parents Get Aid Cutting Special-Ed Red Tape

The Special Ed Advocate newsletter
It's Unique ... and Free!

Enter your email address below:

 

2018 Training Programs

Feb 8 - Oakland, CA

Apr 24 - Kansas City, MO

Apr 26 - St. Louis, MO

May 4 - Bowie, MD

Full Schedule

Be a Hero ...

 Jason at Ft. Benning
... to a Hero
Learn more

Wrightslaw

Home
Topics from A-Z
Free Newsletter
Seminars & Training
Yellow Pages for Kids
Press Room
FAQs
Sitemap

Books & Training

Wrightslaw Storesecure store lock
  Advocate's Store
  Student Bookstore
  Exam Copies
Training Center
Bulk Discounts
New! Military Discounts
Mail & Fax Orders

Advocacy Library

Articles
Doing Your Homework
Ask the Advocate
FAQs
Newsletter Archives
Summer School Series
Success Stories
Tips

Law Library

Articles
Caselaw
IDEA 2004
No Child Left Behind
McKinney-Vento Homeless
FERPA
Section 504
Fed Court Complaints

Topics

Advocacy
ADD/ADHD
Allergy/Anaphylaxis
American Indian
Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum
Behavior & Discipline
Bullying
College/Continuing Ed
Damages
Discrimination
Due Process
Early Intervention (Part C)
Eligibility
Episodic, such as
   Allergies, Asthma, etc

ESSA
ESY
Evaluations
FAPE
Flyers
Future Planning
Harassment
High-Stakes Tests
Homeless Children
IDEA 2004
Identification & Child Find
IEPs
ISEA
Juvenile Justice
Law School & Clinics
Letters & Paper Trails
LRE/Inclusion
Mediation
Military / DOD
Parental Protections
PE and Adapted PE
Privacy & Records
Procedural Safeguards
Progress Monitoring
Reading
Related Services
Research Based Instruction
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Restraints/Abuse
Retention
Retaliation
School Report Cards
Section 504
Self-Advocacy
Teachers & Principals
Transition
Twice Exceptional (2e)
VA Special Education

Resources & Directories

Advocate's Bookstore
Advocacy Resources
Directories
  Disability Groups
  International
  State DOEs
  State PTIs
Free Flyers
Free Pubs
Free Newsletters
Legal & Advocacy
Glossaries
   Legal Terms
   Assessment Terms
Best School Websites

 


The Star Bulletin

Parents Get Aid Cutting Special-Ed Red Tape
By Pat Gee
November 17, 2008


"Val," who is homeless, insists her son, 14, should be in special-education classes.

"I've been asking since he was in the first grade," she says. "They say he's not special ed. So I tell them, 'Then why isn't he learning?'"

Homeless families who have long battled to get services for their disabled children are finding hope now in a new project that is teaching them how to navigate the state's special-education system.

Seven mothers at the Onelauena Shelter in Kalaeloa are taking weekly workshops called "Empowering Parents as Advocates."

The workshops are intended to "end the cycle of educational neglect" among homeless children, says Ho'oipo DeCambra, executive director of Legal Services for Children.

A condition called Tourette's syndrome makes Gary Williams, 17, susceptible to violent outbursts. He once threw a chair at school.

His mother, Anna, says she was told by school officials that he should be incarcerated, but she has not given up trying to keep him in school. She further believes he should qualify for special education, which would allow him to stay in school until age 21, but the Department of Education has balked.

"They're pushing him under the rug," she insists.

"Val," another mother, says her son has had trouble at school as well.

"He's had a hard time reading since elementary school," she says. "I've been asking for help all this time, all this time, and nothing, nothing."

The two women have more in common than frustrations with the DOE.

Both are homeless.

This fall, homeless families who have long battled to get services for their disabled children are finding hope in a new project that is teaching them how to navigate the state's special-education system.

Seven mothers at the Onelauena Shelter at Kalaeloa are taking weekly workshops called "Empowering Parents as Advocates."

The workshops, conducted by Legal Services for Children with a $21,113 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, are meant to end the cycle of educational neglect among homeless children, who are at risk of failing in school, says Ho'oipo DeCambra, executive director of Legal Services.

"For the first time, this gives us hope," said Williams, who has three disabled children. "There have been so many roadblocks and red tape."

This is the first time Legal Services has offered its program at a homeless shelter.

"We've removed the barrier of accessibility by going where they live," DeCambra said.

One child per family will be used as a case model for parents to learn procedures that can be applied to other special-needs children. Parents are learning what resources are available, where to get help, whom to contact and how to acquire school records and specialized curricula called individual education programs, or IEPs.

The text for the workshops is "From Emotion to Advocacy: The Special Education Survival Guide," by Peter and Pamela Wright.

Onelauena is part of the Kalaeloa Emergency/Transitional Shelter, which provides residential services to the homeless and teaches them how to live independently and productively. Many homeless people do not get the services they need from the schools and are afraid to approach outside agencies for such services as psychotherapy, DeCambra said.

Val's son, who is 14, is not eligible for special education.

"I've been asking since he was in the first grade," she says. "They say he's not special ed. So I tell them, 'Then why isn't he learning?' I help him all I can at home."

She has never taken him to a psychiatrist to be evaluated, she says, because she cannot afford it.

DeCambra urged Val to get the DOE to re-evaluate him and to ask for a comprehensive psychological examination.

The constant moving from place to place makes it difficult for the kids to attend the same school for long and harder to get services, Val added.

"Most of us are MedQuest (a state-subsidized health plan) and have lived on the beach," said Williams. "It could be our financial level, that we're not offered services. Or the social worker just does her annual run-through of her list of people who need help just to be able to report, 'I did my call.'"

A condition called Tourette's syndrome makes Gary Williams, 17, susceptible to violent outbursts. He once threw a chair at school.

His mother, Anna, says she was told by school officials that he should be incarcerated, but she has not given up trying to keep him in school. She further believes he should qualify for special education, which would allow him to stay in school until age 21, but the Department of Education has balked.

"They're pushing him under the rug," she insists.

"Val," another mother, says her son has had trouble at school as well.

"He's had a hard time reading since elementary school," she says. "I've been asking for help all this time, all this time, and nothing, nothing."

The two women have more in common than frustrations with the DOE.

Both are homeless.

This fall, homeless families who have long battled to get services for their disabled children are finding hope in a new project that is teaching them how to navigate the state's special-education system.

Seven mothers at the Onelauena Shelter at Kalaeloa are taking weekly workshops called "Empowering Parents as Advocates."

The workshops, conducted by Legal Services for Children with a $21,113 grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, are meant to end the cycle of educational neglect among homeless children, who are at risk of failing in school, says Ho'oipo DeCambra, executive director of Legal Services.

"For the first time, this gives us hope," said Williams, who has three disabled children. "There have been so many roadblocks and red tape."

This is the first time Legal Services has offered its program at a homeless shelter.

"We've removed the barrier of accessibility by going where they live," DeCambra said.

One child per family will be used as a case model for parents to learn procedures that can be applied to other special-needs children. Parents are learning what resources are available, where to get help, whom to contact and how to acquire school records and specialized curricula called individual education programs, or IEPs.

The text for the workshops is "From Emotion to Advocacy: The Special Education Survival Guide," by Peter and Pamela Wright.

Onelauena is part of the Kalaeloa Emergency/Transitional Shelter, which provides residential services to the homeless and teaches them how to live independently and productively. Many homeless people do not get the services they need from the schools and are afraid to approach outside agencies for such services as psychotherapy, DeCambra said.

Val's son, who is 14, is not eligible for special education.

"I've been asking since he was in the first grade," she says. "They say he's not special ed. So I tell them, 'Then why isn't he learning?' I help him all I can at home."

She has never taken him to a psychiatrist to be evaluated, she says, because she cannot afford it.

DeCambra urged Val to get the DOE to re-evaluate him and to ask for a comprehensive psychological examination.

The constant moving from place to place makes it difficult for the kids to attend the same school for long and harder to get services, Val added.

"Most of us are MedQuest (a state-subsidized health plan) and have lived on the beach," said Williams. "It could be our financial level, that we're not offered services. Or the social worker just does her annual run-through of her list of people who need help just to be able to report, 'I did my call.'"


Print this page

 

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon The Special Ed Advocate: It's Free!

 

Wrightslaw: Special Education Legal Developments and Cases 2016, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video

 

Copyright © 1998-2017, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Press Mission l Our Awards l Privacy Policy l Disclaimer l Site Map

Free Shipping on Orders over $35

Christmas Sale!


The Advocate's Store

Get Help!

Wrightslaw on FacebookWrightslaw on TwitterWrightslaw YouTube Channel 

Wrightslaw Books
Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright

About the Book

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video

Student Discounts

Military Discounts


The Advocate's Store

Wrightslaw Multimedia Training


Understanding Your Child's
Test Scores (1.5 hrs)

Wrightslaw Special: $14.95

Wrightslaw Mutimedia Training Download


Special Education Law & Advocacy Training
(6.5 hrs)

Wrightslaw Special: $49.95