An Open Letter to School District Administration Personnel

Dear School District Administration Personnel,

Let me start this by stating that I understand that you have a difficult job.  There are few of you and many students with many different issues.  I understand there are certain rules in place to help things flow smoothly and that, at times, you follow as though they are written in stone.  But even stone must change with time.

I recently went through the IEP process with my daughter who is 3.  She lives with Sensory Integration Dysfunction (or disorder, if you prefer).  Diagnosed at 15 months and in therapy since she was 13 months old, she has come a long way but still has a long way to go.

During the course of evaluations and subsequent reports, the evaluators did their best to put together a “snapshot” of my child and her needs.  Regrettably, it fell short.  When we came to the IEP meeting, all the districts specialists who had been in contact with my daughter were there and were prepared, as I was, to put together an education plan to help my daughter succeed.    Unfortunately, I felt that they chose to ignore or brush aside their most valuable asset when it came to my child’s needs.  Me.

Yes, I know my child better than anyone.  I have spent countless hours working with her at home and in therapy.  I am constantly inventing new ways to work with her and to help her learn to cope with the world around her.  I have held her as she cried for no apparent reason and cheered her many tries and accomplishments as she has grown.  I have guided her through her ups and downs and gave her the words and tools she needed to learn, cope, and grow.

I am her mother, but I am also her best and only advocate.  I will not sit meekly by and accept that someone else, based on a snapshot report, can accurately know my child.  Even her therapists that have been working with her for almost 2 years now ask for and listen to my input.

I will not be brushed aside in favor of one size fits all rules and guidelines.  We are all different, some more so than others.  My daughter may be speech impaired, but it is because of motor planning difficulties which are a result of the sensory dysfunction which impacts her interactions with the rest of the world around her, including her peers.  It is time to look at the whole child, not just the parts.

My daughter has a right to a free and appropriate public education and I will not let you handicap her by ignoring her needs and rights under IDEA.

Yes, I am angry.  Yes, I feel stone-walled, ignored, and brushed aside.  But I will not allow it to continue.  I know I am not the only one out there who feels marginalized by the system.  Maybe no one else has, but I am and I will continue to stand up and make my voice heard.

Sincerely,

An Active, Involved, and Concerned Parent

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. one to one
    Mar 22, 2013 @ 22:15:07

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