Obstructing Special Needs Children: Something needs to change

Updated: Apr 29

Parents desire the very best for their children, and they send them off to school each day hoping that their child is receiving a quality education, assuming that their child’s individual needs are met. From speaking to numerous parents, they have shared their many concerns that such needs are not being met at Wicomico County Public Schools. Shockingly, this includes an area where we would least expect it - Special Education.

Those of you that don't know, I have a son that is Autistic and has had an IEP since he started pre-K. IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is a legal document that assists the teachers in implementing a specific method to teach each child, and what they may require in the classroom in order for a special needs child to succeed. The special education teachers work with the regular teachers to relay what is required of them in accordance with an IEP. Unless you get blessed with a one-on-one with your child, you’ll never actually know if they are getting everything that you have been told they will receive. For those students who are nonverbal, it’s even more concerning if they cannot relay this information to their parents.

There are a few accommodations that I had added at the beginning of this year since my son is now in middle school. I knew he would encounter some new obstacles. One intervention requirement of his IEP states that I am to be contacted if there is a “0” on an assignment so I am able to help him at home. As most of you know, report cards just came out. I was shocked to see that my son had a “D” on his report card. I went on to the parent portal to see what happened with his assignments and he had three 0's, which were not there when I had last checked to make sure everything was turned in. I was not made aware of these 0's, and his special Ed teacher was not either.

When I spoke to this teacher after Easter break, I was shocked. This teacher said to me: “I told your son he had until the end of the marking term to turn the assignments in.” There was no email or phone call to me to let me know, even though this teacher is required by law to contact me. I said, "What about this project that he has failed for this marking term? Was that broken down into smaller chunks or modified in any way?” The teacher proceeded to tell me most of the class had failed that assignment anyway, and he was going to adjust the bell curve to accommodate everyone. I replied, “please explain how that will work.” I was then told that the assignment was out of 300 points, and if the child had not gotten at least a 200/300, he was going to give them a 200. "What?” I didn't want my son to be given a better grade I wanted him to get help with the assignment so he could learn the material. Nope. Apparently, everyone passes just for trying, in the name of Equity.

A few weeks ago, I was told by another teacher that he had too many kids to keep track of, making it difficult to meet the requirements placed on of him as a teacher. He said that he couldn't keep up with all of the accommodations that my son needed. Really? The teacher doesn’t even have time to send me an email that my son has issues with his assignments?

Whether you have a child with a disability or not, these types of problems cannot continue in our school system. We need to make sure that our students receive the support that they need to succeed.

Please consider contributing to my campaign so that I can reach more people with this information, and allow me to fight this fight for you and your family. Follow me on Facebook to stay informed of what's happening with education in our schools.

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