by Mary Ann Miller
(Little Rock, AR )

YES, SPD IS REAL....it is also a discrimination issue.

The Vice-Principal of my daughters school in Hot Springs, Arkansas told my husband and myself that our little girl was a pariah in society. They had the other students stand around her and critique her performance. They would take her to the school office and re-dress her and redo her hair..gave her pink slips almost everyday of the week..expelled her and even went so far as to ask me for my divorce papers before they would agree to talk about providing her with an IEP, 504 or behavioral modification. They put her in a corner of the classroom facing the wall for months. When I asked why they were alienating her from the rest of the class, what I considered psychological abuse and trauma,they told me that they had to because she cried when she was asked to read because she could not recognize the letters or words and that she moved around a lot. (At that time they documented her disability.)

I went so far as to bring a specialist from another state to the school who did a power-point presentation on scotopic sensitivity-sensory processing disorders and who offered to train and work with the school in adopting a sensory intervention plan for the school. Later the specialist told me that they walked out on her and told her that they would not use it. I requested an IEP and they told us that it was not necessary...she was not a special needs child.(she is special needs, she is 8 and still can not recognize all the letters of the alphabet and can not sound out words and yet she is also very smart)..they also told me that despite the fact that my ex-husband and I have joint custody of Cali that I would not be invited to any school meetings because I was not the custodial parent: she is his natural daughter. We are middle class Americans who are trying our best to provide for Cali. We do not drink, smoke or do drugs and live a respectable lives.

I have

contacted almost every entity in the state of Arkansas for help and all I get is BS. I think that if parents were smart they would go to the Office of Inspector General and demand remedy for the failures of stimulus monies provided through the Obama Administration and the Reinvestment and Recovery Act to the schools for education. No Child Left Behind is a joke and taxation without ethical representation is a FRAUD against the citizens and their government. Under federal and state law any child with a handicap must be educated...not discriminated against. (The level of education that they receive is arbitary as school systems are not on a level playing field. Hence the dramatic difference in test scores which is yet another joke. All public schools should be equal in their services.)As mentioned, if the schools are documenting educational and/or behavorial deficiencies then they are documenting the problem for us. The the schools are documenting educational and or behavioral deficiencies then they are documenting the problem for us. PRIMA FACIA EVIDENCE. A 32 in reading and unsatisfactory in conduct documents cognitive/comprehension failures. Unless a child has normal values consistent with state and federal guidelines then the school has legally documented the cognitive/comprehensive disability and by law must find immediate valued remedy for the child.

We need to lobby Congress and we need to address our state boards of education using federal mandates. A medical dictionary would also be of use as labels are ambiguous, Rheumatoid Arthritis is a label....a physical disability....it is actually caused by microbial infestation into the soft tissue causing multiple symptoms. Strep, Staph and Chlamydia are the underlying factors in RA. So, my point is....if a child is diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (a physical disability stemming from multiple causes)they do not specify Strep, Staph or Chlamydia as the diagnosis......it is a subjective disability not a realitive one. That being the case, then why are cognitive disabilities pigeon holed? This is discrimination and again it should be address through federal law.

I would love to join with others to drive this point home to Congress.

Mary Ann Miller 501-276-6000


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Jan 01, 2010
by: Mary Ann Miller

Thank you for your comments.

The point is.....all of this insurance crap, waiting lines and referrals appears to be needless. The federal mandates require assessment of children if the parents request it and if the states are accepting stimulus monies of any kind then they are required by federal law to provide those services. And if the school is documenting social/educational deficiencies then the school should be the ones to initiate the testing, with the approval of the parents, who in the legal sense have no real recourse accept to agree.

Pleading these cases is not necessary...litigating the cases may be.

The bottom line is simple.....IT's the LAW...parents should not have be forced to plead for their child...they should not have to go out of the system to get OT or other services because IDEA specifies that those services are to be paid by the school system. The schools need the funds and the staffing.

I believe that the Math and Science BOARDING SCHOOL in Hot Springs was allotted 6 million dollars of stimulus monies...while at the same time the rest of the schools in Arkansas are way below the norm and in need of monies for both the teachers, supplies and structural improvements. Ridiculous.

Arkansas is about 47th in the national standings....the U.S. is way below other competing nations. If we don't start demanding efficacy in education from all angles we will end up being a surf state and a beggar nation.

It's not just about children with documented disabilities...it's also about a viable-competitive education for those young people who we will rely on to secure the future of this nation.

Mary Ann

Jan 01, 2010
I feel some of the pain you are going through.
by: Ursula Gates

My daughter is 11 and she has so many issues. She started at our school when she was four and she was put in speech therapy. That is how she got her IEP. My daughter always had some odd quirks about her and her teachers and therapist always told me she needed to toughen up or she is just used to being babied. They just didn't understand what I went through on a daily basis. I have always thought that she was on the autism spectrum and of course the school would completely disagree. My daughter does still have meltdowns and is very quiet at school. It has gotten better with therapy. It is still nothing compared to when she gets home. She also has a sensory processing and modulation disorder. I believe that is part of her autism.

Two years ago she started failing in school and that was when I demanded that the school and my doctors do something because I could just feel something was not right. Her handwriting was just really bad and I had to FIGHT for three months to get her evaluated by their occupational therapist. It turned out that all that was needed was for me to sign a paper saying she could be evaluated by the OT.

I also demanded that my doctor give me a referral to this great place in Little Rock the James L. Dennis Developmental Center. They deal with all kinds of things. They have developmental pediatricians, speech therapist, and neuropsychologist. It can be expensive, but if you have insurance that will help. They are really good with working with you on the bill. They are extremely helpful.

They also provide a Requesting a Evaluation from Your School form on their website. It says to write a letter to the school principal (They have provided a sample letter). In the letter you clearly state you are requesting a referral conference. Include your child's name, date of birth, grade, and their teacher's name in the letter. Briefly describe the problems your child is having in school. If you are not the legal guardian, provide the name and address of the legal guardian. Sign and date the letter. Keep a copy of the letter. Several days after mailing, call the school to make sure they received you letter. It then states that the school MUST contact the parent or guardian within 7 days after they receive the letter. I will give you the website and phone number to get the rest of what is needed. If you want just let me know and I will give it to you. The waiting list is also really long so if you feel you need to do it then go for it. You are your only child's advocate. I still have to fight to get things done, but I still do it no matter the cost. Good luck to you.

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