This is the question most asked of me by parents concerning their children with LD and special needs. It is that simple and that complex. I understand. I feel for them and I admire their determination. The love they have for their children is obvious. The hard road they walk to bring these children a better quality of life is often thankless. Often times parents/guardians feel that they are gaining little ground for their efforts.
I do not have all the answers. But, I know where to start. I believe networking can be such an amazing gift, unfortunately word of mouth will not get this in front of these families. We need to make it easy for families to find these resources. We need to bridge the gap between the education system and the resource-filled online disability communities.
If parents/guardians can connect with the amazing communities available and in turn read the outpouring of help and support, they will find assistance with 504/IEP, social connections with similar children, advocates, tutoring, life tips and emotional support for parents/guardians, just to name a few.
So where can this information be broadcast so it might reach these families on a mass level? My suggestion would be individual PTA social pages and directly on official public school and public school district web pages.
Simply paste the links in an easy to locate area designated as resources for children with special needs. Social communities with interactions should be at the users risk
The PTA was organized to better the lives of every child in education. The public school district and individual school web pages are available as a resource for the families of the children being educated. I say post a permanent link to amazing sites like the Decoding Dyslexia relevant for the area. Link the families in your school affected by autism to not just major communities like Autism Society of America and The National Autistic Society | – | autism | Asperger syndrome | but the smaller local sites that can more intimately address their communities needs. Learning Disabilities Association of America is a wonderful resource and accompanied with local resources where people can connect, disabilities become differences and differences can be embraced and explored within helpful communities.
When a parent or caregiver enters their child’s educational journey the tables turn. They go from knowing their child’s needs and meeting them to a completely different ballgame, often feeling overwhelmed by not only the academics but the social aspects as well.
I say give them a road map to success, having schools and PTA‘s provide links where they can make the connections relevant to families individual situations can accomplish this task. Bring the links to the families instead of having the families desperately looking for someone who may help. Your child’s mind is built like an academic scholar but they struggle socially due to the difference in the way their brain works from the average student? There are others out there, they are looking to share personal experiences with you. Your child has severe academic challenges? The tests are timed the environment is anti-productive for their learning style? There are methods that you have yet to learn, there are advocates to point you in the right direction.
Providing these links to the resources already available will stop the two step forwards one step back feeling so many parents/caregivers are drowning in. There are not enough on-site staff members to hold every families hand through this journey we call education. BUT, there are enough hands out there waiting to help, be a sounding board, and give you the knowledge and road miles they have already walked to help you get back to enjoying the amazing child you were blessed to guide to independence
I believe the education system was first designed to educate the masses. Bless all those who had that presumably insurmountable task and have taken societies thus far! Now let’s continue the evolution of our education by bridging the gap between families in need and the resources available, so that the needs of the minority can be met and each child’s potential is within reach. Let us provide links to the vast knowledge available and the kind hearts that have walked the hard miles and are willing to provide others with the help they are asking for.
I would like to see each school’s web page with links to appropriate disability organizations, advocates, local and online tutoring, and social pages for the emotional support of families with similar challenges. No parent/guardian should feel isolated and every child deserves the immense resources and research available.
Contact your child’s principal make a plea to the public school district and work with your local PTA to make these links available to those in need and the parents/guardians of the future.
If you know of a school that provides these links or have thoughts on this idea I would love to hear from you.
All the best,