Sunday, January 15, 2012

School District Adds Half A Million to Special Education

There was recently an article run in our local newspaper about a school district that is expected to overspend their special education budget by more than $525,000.

The article goes on to explain that the school says it's in response to a result of demand for services.

It then goes on to say that, "The announcement of the added costs, however, followed complaints from some parents that the district was not meeting the mandatory recommendations of the individual education plan meetings."

As you continue to read they quote one parent, some irate mother who I think sounds much smarter in person than she does in print, talking about how IEPS need to be legally upheld.  She also mentions that not only was the academic piece in need of help but the safety of the children was a huge concern.  Yeah, that parent was me.

This article has been getting a lot of hoopla in the circles I run in.

I had a case manager tell me that the IEPs she has been going to since then have been so much easier and cooperative.  She actually thanked me.

I had a nurse at the ER congratulating me on sticking up for the kids and opening my big mouth.

My father keeps laughing and saying, "That article makes it sound like you single-handedly made that budget increase."  And at the same time bragging about it to anyone who will listen.

Well, I didn't do it single-handedly.  But I do know for a fact that after getting Disability of Rights involved (thank you!) and our last IEP the school had to add in several consultants from private practices to work with Brian as well as more training and new curriculum.  I'm guessing just his changes could make up that half million.  Ongoing consultation for a whole year isn't cheap.

We asked for those specialists and changes and they're happening.  What makes it really worth it, is all the children in the autism classroom are getting the benefits.  The specialists are coming in and looking at the program and showing them how it can be changed for all of them, not just Brian.

And that makes me feel really good.


Patty Porch said...

This is so, so, so awesome!  Way to go!  And I love that your dad is bragging about you!  It's parents like you who we all owe a debt of gratitude to.  Could you come to Illinois and effect change here too?

Jen Troester said...

You are my hero!