Below was my response to my dear friend AOW in her post regarding Elon Musk when I made a remark about how I wish Elon Musk could mentor my son, not because he is rich, but because he has Aspergers. AOW proceeded to ask me if my son had ever been mentored. She knows much of the story, and then some, but I will share this much with you.
“My son has never been mentored. He needed to meet certain criteria within the Virginia Department of Education and sadly they decided he was not a “good fit.” So that left me to look within the private sector and write essays requesting mentors, which never were responded back to. In addition, I have reached out to various programs that are private, but as you know they are extremely expensive and are geared towards those of the high middle-class and/or wealthy. Sadly, when I suggested a payment arrangement it was unacceptable to them. Probably because they did this for others who failed to pay the bill so people like myself and my son suffer the consequences. No one does anything for anyone without being paid. There have to be incentives for the other party. Without incentives, people like my son fall through the cracks.
This literally made me physically ill twelve years ago and was the cause of me being on blood pressure medicine because of the constant arguing and begging for help for my son from the Virginia Department of Education.
My husband wrote the DOJ, on the basis of discrimination against a child with a disability, “Autism.” The DOJ dumped it at the bottom of the “out pile” and later discarded it. Every time we resubmitted the grievance they time-barred it. We received this information from a person on anonymity at the DOJ. I suppose the DOJ is good for something like going after parents [sic].
After this, we had many meetings with the heads of the Virginia Department of Education and we requested our son be placed in a private school that they should pay for (they call this “tuitioning out” in Chicago where it was done for my other Autistic son who is now deceased) since they did not have a program in place for children with Autism or Aspergers. They refused saying everything was time-barred and we “must listen to” them and “follow their rules”. They had the mitigated gall to have me speak to a counselor because they said something must be wrong with us (because we advocated for our son). The psychologist thought they were wrong and that something was wrong with the Board of Education in Arlington Special Needs Department, not us [sic]. Every time I remember this, talk about it and have to explain how my son fell through the cracks I have a panic attack and cannot breathe. I do not state the latter for sympathy it is just a FACT.
I will say I am damned angry because we did do the best for our son but no damn person would work with us or even compromise one iota [sic]. It was “their way or no way. Who the hell do they think my son is? He is NOT THEIR SON, HE IS MY SON!
I failed to mention that when we went on with these meetings regarding our son, those bastards hired Reed Smith Lawfirm LLC in Richmond, VA to represent the Board of Education in Manassas County to handle the case because they did not want a precedent to be set. Of course, we could not afford an attorney (I am a paralegal but may not practice law it is considered “the unauthorized practice of law,” I would need special permission from a judge to do so and that would not happen for our case), so we represented ourselves to no avail. Amazingly, they could pay that law firm upward of five thousand dollars but they were unwilling to put one penny toward helping an Autistic child so he could have a better education that would enhance his life. Chicago is bad, but they are very good with the intellectually challenged, unlike Virginia. I hate Virginia and wish I could get the hell out of here. God willing soon! Sorry, I am very bitter and do not mean to be, but this place is useless.”