The school was writing off my child. They were doing as little as possible to educate her properly. I thought I was going to lose my mind trying to deal with them.
But I learned my rights and how to use tactics and strategies to get a program to meet my daughter’s complex needs.
By middle school, the system gave up fighting with me. They tired of the IEP meetings I requested after every grading period when they tried to take away services, alleging Sarah was “doing fine.”
I knew it was a victory worth the fight when I found a sticky note in Sarah’s cumulative record folder that said, “Give this mom whatever she wants.”
Her kindergarten standardized test scores were horrible.
The principal said she would never learn to read. The system tried to shove her into an inclusion classroom.
She had neurofibromatosis 1, ADHD, expressive language disorder, and central auditory processing disorder. She was also diagnosed with developmental delay, hearing loss in both ears, a speech impediment, and autism.
I found Wrightslaw and I did my research.
- I read all the information and resources Wrightslaw provided about accommodations and teaching methods.
- I independently researched everything I could find on my child’s disabilities and disorders.
- I learned my parent rights and responsibilities in the law.
- I learned what the school could and could not do.
- I learned excellent strategies to use at IEP meetings.
When I implemented these strategies, they were a godsend, but angered people at IEP meetings.
As you taught me, I took a notepad with me to the IEP meetings and made two columns:
“What Mom Wants” and “What School Says.”
I used Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy to learn how to take control and maintain control at IEP meetings.
I Remember When
There are days when I want to go back to her kindergarten teacher and show her college student, successfully employed, self-advocate Sarah.
I want to say –
Remember the girl you said was mentally disabled and would never learn to read? You told me that if I loved her, I would place her into an inclusion classroom.
Sarah reads on grade level based on methods I researched when the standard methods failed. Sarah graduated high school. Sarah now has a 3.0 in college.
It’s a good thing I ignored you and your “experts.”
Learn the strategies this mom, the parent advocate, used to get the program her daughter needed.
Find out where Sarah is today.