Don’t Do it Alone – Get Help!


I have encountered a few incidents where a child with special needs cannot get to school without outside help. Some families simply don’t have the tools, strength, right relationship or physical ability, to get their special needs child to school on time, if at all.

Your school district will not offer help. You have to ask for it. And you must make a compelling reason for them to do so.

Sadly, families trust that the districts have their back, and WOULD help if the COULD. A client of mine has an exceedingly difficult time getting her teenage daughter to school on time. The relationship with her mother (who is single and the sole adult responsible for getting her up and to school) is strained, at best, and the daughter simply WILL not do what her mother says. This is actually part of the girl’s disability – she is not just being an ornery child.

Since the girl misses enormous amounts of school, she is not receiving the education the school is obliged to give her.  Nothing the mother does will work. She can’t physically drag her.

So the school needs to provide a paraprofessional to come to the child’s home, and help get her out of the house and to school in a timely manner, otherwise, the child is not getting FAPE (free appropriate public education) which is what all districts are obliged to provide its students.

I won’t lie, there will be extreme push back from the school. But a calm parent advocate, armed with the truth and knowledge of the IDEA law, can compel the district to do the right thing for the family.


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