Education Options for our Children
Standing Up For Your Children
In this posting I’m going to start out by bragging a little about the strides my son, Matthew, has been making this school year. Matthew is four years old and suffers from Autism and Apraxia of Speech. Now, for the first time, we are starting to be able to know what he knows through sign language.
For the past two years my wife, MaryBeth, and I have known that Matthew was struggling and it was sometimes a fight to convince doctors and educators that something needed to be done to help him. In January of this past year MaryBeth purchased some sign language DVD’s and Matthew took to signing. Our other children have done some signing as babies but nothing like what we are now doing. Since January Matthew has shown his personality, talents and intelligence in miraculous ways.
This Fall with a great deal of paperwork and some lengthy approval processes Matthew was accepted as one of the first children at a school for deaf and hard of hearing as a person with full hearing ability. Since that time he has grown even more in his ability to communicate both using sign language and verbally.
When I think of Matthew and the process we have gone through I can’t help but notice how similar it is to all of the parents of students in K12 schools. Each person who chooses a K12 school makes the choice because the current circumstance is not working, or can be made better. You stand up for your child and go through paperwork, approval processes, transfer of records and many other challenges to get the education for your child that you feel will get the best results.
In the upcoming year I wish you all the best in your respective schools. I thank you for putting trust in us as educators, and I hope that you can have moments of success, like the morning I videotaped Matthew showing his ABC’s. I know that those moments will come as you continue to follow your parental instincts and choose educational options that best meet the needs of your children.