Sorry guys, I know I am way behind on replying back to comments and commenting back on blogs. The past 4-5 days have been hectic. Today, tomorrow, and Wednesday I will be catching up on comments. :D This post is non book related, but I really felt that with it being Autism Awareness Month I should say something. I hope that by being vocal it may help someone out there become more informed or know that they aren't alone in the struggle.
As some of you may know I have a daughter who is Autistic. April is Autism Awareness Month and so I just wanted to share this in hopes that people become more aware. If anyone has any questions about Autism, please feel free to ask. I will answer as best as I can based on my experiences with my daughter. Also, on this website it explains what Autism Awareness Month is and you can also find information about Autism there if you would like. http://www.autism-society.org/get-involved/national-autism-awareness-month/
I posted this today on my Facebook for Autism Awareness Month:
So last year I fought for Madison to have ESY (summer school) like she had the two years previous since it has helped her so much in school for the following years and Maddie was denied. Last year I fought tooth and nail for ESY, even requesting additional ARD meetings, and I spent so MUCH time researching, looking at court cases online on a million different websites, and creating a packet of information to try and convince Madison's educators and administrators to reconsider letting her do ESY. When I showed up at the meeting last year after all my hard work these people did not even listen to me. We had the meeting because they are legally required to, but no one listened to me fight for my daughter. Not only that, but a lot of the people in the room went as far as to look at me like I was being annoying, stupid, or just being a pain. They still denied her ESY. I was so infuriated that they didn't even LISTEN that I was shaking and had to leave before I said or did something in anger and frustration. Fast forward to one year later today at another ARD meeting and the school is recommending that Madison have ESY this summer because she has regressed. While I am happy that Maddie will have ESY, I am irritated that they did not listen last year when it's obvious now that she did need it. ESY helps Madison so much and it makes a difference for the ENTIRE next school year. Which I knew it would. When will these educators and administrators start listening to the parents? Instead of treating special needs parents like dog poop they need to take the time to actually listen to the parents. We KNOW our kids. Why last year was I treated like my meeting was a legal requirement just for show on paper, instead of what it's meant to do -- give parents a chance to be heard? With this being April, Autism Awareness month, I just wanted to share this story (sorry it's long) because this what we deal with all the time. Whether it's with the school, doctors, government assistance type programs, and etc., everything is always a fight. This is the biggest struggle parents of special needs kids face, in my opinion. Families learn early on how to accommodate a child's disability, but how do we deal with so many broken systems that are meant to help the special needs children? What can be done and when!?