Thursday, May 29, 2008

Marty Get's His IEP without A Fight!

From the moment that we became parents of special needs children, we have been on the front-line advocating for the needs of our children. Makala was 5 years old when we met her, and Marty was only 1 year old. She came into our lives with little background history and no record of her early development and he came to us as a blooming toddler appearing to walk on time, and reach the majority of normal milestones.

When he was two-years old he was not speaking a single word. We contacted the school district asking for early interventions services, had his needs evaluated and participated in Speech, Occupational Therapy, and child development classes as an identified special needs child. The process was simple, the tests conclusive and the services beneficial.

This trend has always followed him, as we had the opportunity to have his special needs identified early. There has never been an issue about his need for one test or another. Referrals for doctor appointments, special testing and services all offered without the battle so many parents face.

The fact that he was born in a hospital, and born drug addicted could never be disputed. We have documentation of every thing that has ever happened to him. I am able to pull out any document needed in order to attain the next level of service or referral for evaluation. It's funny that my child with the Lessor and More Common issues seems to have his every need recognized and honored, yet--the Lack of any record of Makala's life before the age of 4 years old has been nothing except a barrier to her needs being considered?

We know he has some learning issues and we see them at home as well. We see that he has delays with Receptive and Expression language skills, and seems unable to understand the difference between letters and numbers. His evaluations indicate that he is in the 4th percentile of children his age. Meaning that 96 percent of children are doing better then he is.

The red-carpet was rolled out every step of his life for each need he has. He is a pleasant and nice little boy who cares about other people, doesn't have behavior issues and wants to learn. Everyone on earth loves Marty he is just that kind of kid--the one you want to sit and talk with, play games and offer candy to because he is just so cute.

Makala has these same issues, we tried to get her help when she was in kindergarten. We were always told, "Lets Wait and See" but, her behaviors always got her into so much trouble she ended up in treatment centers because the schools refused to deal with her behaviors--many of which are simply the result of frustration in dealing with Brain Damage. Even as I write she is attending a Day Treatment program where she is only one of two girls Kindergarten to 12th grade. Everyday someone at her school is taken away in a police car and her lessons are all about how it isn't nice to flip your middle finger up, or call someone the F-word.

Her personality is not the kind most people tolerate for very long. Once someone spends a few weeks with her they want to ran the other way... Instead of wanting to help this little girl everyone wants to pass-the-buck and have it be a different program stuck dealing with her needs. The attitude seems to be that if she would just behave herself she wouldn't have a problem...

I guess the Moral of this blog is that a child's personality does in fact have an impact on the kinds of services they recieve.

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