Parents fighting for their child with special needs

May 30, 2024 | Sharon Sedlar

When I started PaFEC, I never thought that it would be an up close and personal seat to even more dysfunction of the traditional education system, how unfair it can be for families, and how some children are held back. In this case, the children being held back are those with special needs.  Certainly, those children are being adequately served with all of the attention and resources we hear they’re getting – not to mention federal and state law, right?  Think again.

PaFEC is here to help families in their educational journey – to provide information, resources, referrals, and hope.  But we are frequently at a loss when it comes to special education.  The appearance of copious assets, referrals, and (yes) hope frequently turns out to be a mirage.

Special education advocates, attorneys, and the PA Department of Special Education are overwhelmed, overburdened, or non-responsive; some legislators try to help, but are limited in how much they can do; families are drowning in medical bills, bureaucracy, daily living, and laws they don’t have time to understand.  Who has “extra” time to fight this huge uphill battle?  Many parents must either take what the schools says is all that it can provide (or has to provide), or they quietly take their child elsewhere – hoping that the new environment will bode better for their precious child.

We have been party to some good outcomes: IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meetings where the parents (finally) felt heard, the children received services for which they were eligible, and all walked away from the meeting feeling accomplished and ready to tackle the next year’s plan.  But WE shouldn’t HAVE to be there for the parents to feel this way.  We are only party to the IEP Meeting because the parents felt unsupported, and searched elsewhere and “outside” for help. The years or months leading up to that meeting and delayed services could have been avoided if the parties just cooperated in the first place.

Below you will see a link to the Special Education portion of our website. If you are having difficulties with your child’s school and are seeking relief or support, please complete this form and we will get in touch with you and do what we can to help.  We are here for our families! 💗

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