Parent Statement #16
To Whom it May Concern,
I am here today to express my deep concern and unrest with the experience I have had with the Director Of Special Education Services Katherine Shaughnessy. ln 2012, when our son was officially diagnosed on the Autism scale with PDD/NOS we had no idea what was ahead. We were already involved with early intervention. We had Birth to 3 in our home 3 times week and were doing everything in our power to give him strong support at home and at daycare. The CES preschool program had such a fantastic reputation as an inclusive classroom for special needs kids and regular education kids we thought it would be a perfect match.
We went to our first IEP and we really didn't even know what an IEP was or what it stood for. We thought we would talk about our son's strengths and weaknesses and figure out the best plan for his success. What we received and the way we were treated was something we never dreamed of. This woman, who we thought was there for the best interest of our son was rude. She was condescending. She insulted our intelligence often by thriving on the fact that we were new parents to a new school system and informed us that our son would not qualify for anything, despite the numerous reports we had from clinical psychologists and medical doctors who strongly recommended otherwise. Only when the Birth to 3 representative stepped in and pointed out certain tests that proved our need for help did she finally concede. She had told us we were denied. Had the Birth to 3 rep not been there we would have left believing her. What a tragedy that would have been for our son. Only due to the dedication of the fantastic teachers in that room did he really do well and we were supported.
It scares me think of all the families that did not have that support. How many were turned down? She told us angrily upon leaving the meeting that day not to plan on future services. Every year we are stressed and scared of the meeting to come as we know how much our son needs help, but we are fearful she will pull all the services right out from beneath us. We don't want to see him fail to just to show how much he needs the services.
I cannot sign our name to this testimonial for fear that it will be used against us as we are still in the school system.