Sometimes You’re Just Defeated

My sister Jaime and I, as well as thousands of other parents, have to fight for our special kids every day. I recently spent way too much time trying to get Fox into kindergarten in Gilbert public schools only to have to go to a school in Mesa.

Here’s the story: back in the beginning of June when I finally got my official copy of fox’s IEP, we applied to GPS for Kindergarten. Toward the end of June, we were told that he would be going to Spectrum elementary and we’d need to go in July 23rd to the school to give them a hard copy of his IEP and have a psych eval. Fox and I go on vacation, come back, and go to the school. They have no record of him being a student but do have his basic info on file. So, I applied to Kindergarten again.

At this point, school starts in a week. I’m panicking slightly because I gotta find a place for Fox to go to school. So, trying to over-prepare, I go to four other schools and apply for kindergarten there until on office assistant says, “why are you doing this? Let me call the district for you, so you have a straight answer. I don’t want you running around all day.”

She calls and informs me that GPS denied Fox entry. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking! Didn’t a school already call you and tell you-you’re going there? Yes, they did.

Fox wasn’t accepted into the school system in Gilbert because they don’t have to if we’re out of the district. Because his IEP is so specific and has many requirements, he needs to be placed in a school that can meet his needs. If GPS doesn’t want to find him a school that can do that, they don’t have to.

Feeling defeated, I applied to Mesa Public Schools, and he starts on the 8th. When we move in October Fox will have to go through a transition. I wanted to avoid this. I wanted to ensure he wouldn’t have a bad moment at school this year.

He’s a resilient kid so; perhaps he won’t. Either way this experience makes me feel like kids like Matthew and Fox are just pieces of paper to those who don’t see them. Paper tossed from one bin to the other without consideration.

This isn’t just a public schools thing; this is how it goes at the state level too. We applied for benefits MONTHS ago, and have heard nothing. Why is it so difficult to get help for my kid? For any kid?

This issue has been eating at me the past few weeks, and I want to be able to change it. Not just for Fox, but for the other kids and parents who have to go through this red tape bullshit too.

What have your experiences as a parent been in getting kids into school?

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