|Patrick Donohue (Credit: Brigitte Stelzer)|
And this extreme frustration occurs nationwide.
Children with special needs must have supporting services and providers, often for every minute of the school day. The providers of these services - i.e. occupational and/or physical therapy, ABA, TEACCH, 1:1 paraprofessional, etc. - cannot and have not been effectively used or provided for the past 5 months (and decades), in schools throughout America. Often it is only after the parent(s) have spent every penny they have with paying for lawyers or tuitions for private schools, that the mandated services are given.
As a parent advocate who does Impartial Hearings, IEP review meetings, and anything else that I need to do to get a child all the services and resources needed, I know what a culture of lies the NYC DOE promotes in order to not have to pay for the support these kids are mandated by law (U.S. Department of Education’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, "IDEA") to receive.
During COVID-19 there have been severe shortages of providers and thus service implementation of programs and resources to these kids.
Mr. Donohue is right to make a Big Thing about this.
National Class Action lawsuit to force the schools to reopen and provide services to students with special needs as well as compensate the parents for them doing the job of the school districts for the past five months (and the students getting compensatory services to make up for their missed services).
There are over 200 families that have already signed up from more than 20 states (and it is growing by the hour). Families can either go directly to the website to enroll: www.BrainInjuryRights.org or call the toll-free hotline: 888-927-4332 (888-927-IDEA).
3:20 PM (48 minutes ago)
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Lawsuit rips schools for abandoning special needs kids amid COVID-19 pandemic