Special Ed Parents Need to Unite

ATTENTION: Are you in need of Legal Help/Answers?

ATTENTION:  Are you in need of Legal Help/Answers?

Attorney X, is a special education lawyer whom works for the PARENT and doesn't also work for School's (which, I see as a conflict).  This attorney has heard from many of us in Cranston that something STINKS within the School Administration.  She has offered to meet with those of us whom feel help is needed ~ and she is willing to meet within a group in need of answers.

I recently applied for Mediation and was DENIED. I just got off the phone with a parent whom also was DENIED, and there are more of us.  I am looking to UNITE US on similarities such as:

- Educational Placement (preserving correct supports)
- Safety;
- Moving / Transition;
- Making it KNOWN to you ALL the available Educational Technology (see definitions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_technology );
- Making it KNOWN to you ALL the available Education Software (see definitions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_software );
- School having an Attorney there when you are UNREPRESENTED;
- ESY / Summer Math help or the like;
- Not getting IEP or 504 DRAFTS prior to your meeting?
- Not getting back to you within a reasonable amount of time;
- Told "NO", with no Data to reflect why or the specific reason in writing?
- Language Based Learning Disability (20% of population and highest % of Special Ed students) - are not being taught by Certified Teachers.

I would like everyone reading this to COPY this and send via e-mail or print and take to those that do not have Facebook.  Those Special Ed parents that have been in a perpetual exchange of blows and find they are not getting the results sought, should contact me.

UNITY is what is really needed right now!  Especially since, Superintendent of Schools, Peter Nero is stepping down and we have Cheryl Coogan, Judy Lunsten, Michelle Simpson and Arlene Garrison in Special Education.  Many of you (the "Parents") do not even know who your School Committee member is, and you need to find out because THEY should be Advocating and helping you.  While I realize this is the summer, I need feedback asap.

One of the common questions that many annoyed parents ask me, "Why did the School Administration allow an attorney to come to my child's IEP (504) meeting? Are they there to scare me? Why am I paying to have an attorney there when I am not represented? How much do they get paid in the Budget?" Every single parent asks. Now you know where some of your tax money goes ~ nothing gratifying there.  Please forward to anyone who may have an interest, or a parent in need of help, or a teacher who wants to help (Confidentially, or as Anonymous) .

Thank you.   Be well, Suzanne Arena Mother of a Child with Disabilities - Dyslexia Organizer of C.U.R.E. (Cranston United for Responsible Education)
For Election Change - Oust those that do not represent Change for the better  

Importance of using email etiquette:  http://www.businessemailetiquette.com/232/e-mail-response-time

E-mail Response Time:  What is the rule for how fast you should be responding to e-mails? The short answer: ASAP

  “If the children are untaught, their ignorance and vices will in future life cost us much dearer in their consequences than it would have done in their correction by a good education.” –Thomas Jefferson

     Suzanne Arena Cranston
cell: 401-440-2579
              on FACEBOOK

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Suzanne Arena July 03, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Thank you to the parents that have called and please continue to share with others. We hope to run a meeting in August before the school session starts. Knowledge is power, and power is knowledge.
Maya Lincoln July 03, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Suzanne, I am so sorry that you and many parents have to go through this. Children with special needs need accommodations and anything they can get in order to succeed. As someone with Asperger's syndrome, I am 100% behind you. I want your children to one day be as successful as I am and without the proper services it will not happen. I want to wish you good luck. It is individuals like yourself who are wonderful advocates, so that students with disabilities can get the right help and be as successful as they can be. I am sending you all tons of thoughts.
Suzanne Arena July 05, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Wow Maya, I very much appreciate you sharing! David Sienko, Director of Rhode Island's Special Education Department has agreed to sitting down with a few of our CURE group member's and discuss the changes that are needed within Special Education in our Public Schools. YOUR IMPUT is sought. Although we have a lengthy list, I am tring to ensure that the "common" threads are brought up.
Suzanne Arena July 31, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I have spoken to many parents that are happy to find out that "there are others out there going through the same thing"! I have also spoken with many Teachers and Staff that feel Professional Development "Allowing Teachers to become more educated" is an issue. Other areas to discuss with Mr. Sienko will be: Allow Teachers to take more classes Assistive Technology ~ Why are so many devices sitting in closets and not being utilized? Enrichment - for Special Education Policies & Procedures - clearly found and clearly stated for the layman parent & Teachers Classroom Observation Independent Evaluations Anything more?
Joe Rhodes July 31, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Suzanne... I think that if we all look into our families we certainly can find where this issue hits home. As a father of four children, I too have faced adversity deriving from my 14 year old that had an unfortunate blessing of left-hemiparesis and had a stroke at birth. We were very fortunate to have a great support staff with the school system, and an appropriate IEP, but I feel as if you are absolutely correct in your statements. The road traveled with such diagnosis' and the love and understanding as parents that we all strive to accomplish to ensure that our children can obtain the best care, education and to utilize any such devices that, as you've mentioned...gets pulled out of a closet somewhere and utilized to its fullest. Every attempt to seek out a better recognition to this issue, or lack there of is very important.


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