Help Our Son Keep His Paraprofessional Educator!
We are the parents, to a 7 year old, special needs child, he attends Camden Primary, which is apart of the Preble Shawnee Local School District. Our son has Fragile X Syndrome, a chromosome condition that will forever impact his development and his life.
My husband and I are realistic, knowing our son will never be a doctor, or a lawyer, we are more focused on his sociability, and comfort in school. We are needing support and are faced with the following problem:
We are having an issue with him and his paraprofessional educator (aka his aide). The school wants to rip my son away from one of his favorite people in the world, someone he has grown leaps and bounds with, someone his father and I trust completely. Place him with someone else, for no reason, other than one bad experience the Special Needs Education Director had, with an aide, staying with a child too long. I say- this is not the same situation, and this is not our son.
She herself has said 2-3 years is the "typical," length of time for an aide to be with a child- when our son has been with his current aide for only 2 years. Our argument is that this Director doesn't work with our son everyday, she doesn't know what's best for him, as his parents, we do. The paraprofessional educator is still being employed by the district next year and has recently signed a four year contract, so it's not an issue of her character or hire status. And people who work with our son everyday agree with us and support our decision, saying it would be "detrimental to separate them."
I've taken this matter to the superintendent, who says he wants us to "be comfortable with the decision," but is also not willing to question the Director's actions. Even with the other people in the school openly supporting us. We ask, what is the issue here? Why is this being made into such a problem? Why are they resisting us so much? We have asked these questions and haven't received answers.
This is a big deal for special needs parents, we need to feel like we have a voice and a say in our child's education and their services. This matter was brought up haphazardly in our son's IEP meeting this year, IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan, not everything is the same for any child, especially special needs children. We have been trying to fight it for weeks with no real progress. We are being met with such resistance it is ridiculous, stressful, and unsettling.
Often times special needs parents are the only advocates for the children. And we have previously, always been praised for doing this...until now. We are not ones to back down from a "fight" or a challenge, we will continue to push for what's best for our son.
"There is a right, there is a wrong, and there is a reality." We must face the reality that not everything is black and white, typical "policy" has its place, and sometimes doing things differently is what is the real answer.
I am also making it known Damon's aide does want to remain with Damon, but I would like to make it known that I started this, Damon's Mother, she does not deserve any bad or awkward treatment. She is not involved in this in any capacity.
Please sign our petition, and support us in this. Thank you very much!
Nate and Melissa Eldridge