Part 2: Children in Crisis

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.”

15 thoughts on “Part 2: Children in Crisis

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  1. They hired a lawyer because they goofed somewhere.

    Yes, they were worried about a 50,000 pay out. They should have spent a couple thousand.

    (Good chance that they didn’t have a required staffing solution per law in place).

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Layla, I actually cried when I read this. No person should have to go through what you and your husband went through with Virgina’s Department of Education. Raising healthy kids is tough enough. Raising kids that have debilitating diseases like Aspergers or Autism is hundreds of times harder. These idiots somehow forgot that they work for YOU, not the other way around. But having said all of that…please take my wishes for a great Mother’s Day this weekend. I think if anybody deserves it, it’s you!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Well, that wasn’t my objective. I’ve read a lot of your stuff since you found my blog. And I think you have one of the most well-written and thought out blogs on this thing! Keep up the great work Layla!

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  3. 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).

    Happens to lots of parents when they come into the school to ask what they can do to help their child grasp new curricular concepts. I know one parent who politely came in to ask a question about her daughter’s difficulty with a particular course: “You are too controlling. Stay out of it.” This happened to a parent at TJ! TJ!

    The poor daughter ended up not doing well in that course. Her failure sent her into a depression. Sad story.

    This telling parents that there is something wrong with them seems to be the County’s fallback decision — never mind the consequences for the student.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AOW, at one point the psychologist for special needs kids as “they called it,” told me that I have to get used to the way things are done because they do not want the Metro Area to be know as “THE CAPITOL FOR AUTISM!” Later when I did some digging I found out this was the premise of thesis. You can imagine my chagrin!

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  4. I’ve been thinking a lot about this post during quiet times yesterday.

    It is malpractice of education that your son never received the opportunity to be mentored! 😡

    I want to encourage you about something, though. Sometimes you can find someone to mentor an adult such as your son! I actually did that for four years, and I believe his age when I started with him are around 22. I worked with him for only 30-60 minutes a week, and the learning therapist (Discovery Method, but it’s called something else now) worked with him for 4 hours a week. Of course, all this was privately done, so it cost money. The payoff was good, though. He was able at the end of that four years to get a job and hold it (menial, but still a paying job

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    1. Addendum: he lives in a supervised situation (with his mother or aunt, I believe). He must be close to age 50 by now.

      Apparently, he is happy — from all the information I can glean. He lives in the San Francisco area.

      Like

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