What Lee's Summit Stole From My Daughters

I have written many times about what the school district stole from my son.  They stole his future, his mental well being, and his self esteem.  He has recovered from two of those.  The first one will follow him the rest of his life. 

I have never written what they stole from my daughters.  They stole time with their mother.  They stole their mother's attention.  They stole the faith that they had in adults.  They stole part of their youth.  The part of their youth where they believe in the goodness of human beings.  The part of their youth where they can trust adults.  The part of their youth where they can feel safe. 

I have spent ten years fighting with the school district.  Ten years of trying to get the school district to give services to children with autism.  Ten years of appearing on television, in newspapers, at DESE, at legislators offices, on the telephone with OSEP, meeting monthly with the Superintendent, Chairing the Monitoring Committee at DESE Special Education Advisory Panel meetings, having support group meetings, talking on the phone to desperate parents, picketing, going to school board meetings, running for school board, and anything else that I could think of to make my school district do what they are mandated to do.

I always believed in the "experts".  I never spoke up.  I believed that people were honest and would do what they were supposed to do.  That is the way that I was raised.  Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think that I would one day have to fight people so that they would do what they were supposed to do.  I didn't grow up in a world where people lied, cheated, destroyed evidence, and manipulated.  That is not the world I grew up in and not the way that I raised my children.

I will never forget sitting at my daughter's baccalaureate and listening to one of my son's teachers profess her faith.  I had just sat in an IEP meeting with her and listened as she lied about what services she was giving my son.  That was a hard day.  My son had just dropped out because of the emotional and psychological damage that she and others like her had done to my child.  Now she was standing on the stage professing her faith.

Having a brother with autism isn't easy.  Having to live with how others force their mother and even themselves to stand up is even harder.  


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