Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Inappropriate No's

I’m not exactly sure what it is with District 742 and Stearns County, but I sure am tired of being told no before any evaluations are actually done that justify that no.

I have requested a waiver assessment for Sandis. Why? The waiver would be beneficial for our family and help secure services and supplies for my guy more readily than what our current system of support does. The waiver would help to pay for not only his PCA services, but also Occupational Therapy supplies for his home environment, alarms for our windows and doors (ever the escape artist he is!), and also help to replace household items he has aided on their journey to heaven (figuratively speaking). This stuff gets expensive, and there are times when waiting for that Family Support Grant to be approved (or denied) we lose our opportunity to offer him the positive help he needs in the time frame he needs it. Requests go something like this.

Me: I’d like to apply for waivered services for my son.
County: I don’t believe he’ll qualify.
Me: I’d still like to apply.
County: Even if he is approved he’ll just go on a waiting list. And even then, he’ll never get to the top of the list because persons more severely affected will always go to the top of the list before him.
Me: Are you telling me I can’t apply for a waiver for my son?
County: I wouldn’t say that. I just don’t see the need.
Me: I’d like to apply for waivered services.
County: Let me talk to my supervisor about this and I’ll have him get back to you.

And so it goes. It pisses me off to no freaking end. How can you say he won’t qualify if you aren’t evaluating him? Just this past April I was advised not to apply for PCA services because he wouldn’t qualify. I persisted, and I insisted, on PCA evaluations. And guess what? He not only qualified he was given 14 hours of PCA services per week. Please, Stearns County, give me the reason that you would tell me he doesn’t qualify when you can’t possibly determine that without an evaluation.

On to scenario two. I have requested special education evaluations for Miss Gracie. Gracie is doing awesome in district preschool. She is there 3 days a week for 2-1/2 hours a session. She isn’t doing so hot in her private day care, which is also a Minnesota accredited preschool program. So we’ve implemented some sensory accommodations into this program and it has helped magnificently. She spends the majority of her school days in this program, so it makes sense that if she has problems it will be where she is the most. Next year Gracie starts kindergarten, but the accommodations she is receiving at her day care you don’t get in public schools. Well, you don’t get those type of accommodations without an IEP. So here is how this one goes:
Me: I’d like to request special education evaluations for my daughter and here is why:_____.
School District: We will bring that concern up with our team and they will decide whether or not evaluations are appropriate.
Me: My concern is just as valid as any other professionals’ concern. I’d like her to have special education evaluations.
School District: Gracie is doing wonderfully, with no problems, in her district preschool class. That shows she is not educationally affected. She more than likely will not receive special education evaluations.
Me: Gracie has had documented problems in more than one area, both at home and at her day care. Her day care is an accredited Minnesota preschool, is a learning environment, and is where she spends the majority of her day. She is educationally affected and I expect her to have evaluations.
School District: I’ll have someone follow up with you regarding whether or not she will receive evaluations after our team meets in regards to this.
Me: When will that be? I’ll call you on that day. (Monday)
So here is the deal, I really want to know where the hell these people (professionals?) get off denying my children their basic rights to services and accommodations because they “feel” like they won’t qualify. Evaluations are not based on feelings, they are based on actual EVALUATIONS.

So please, Stearns County & District 742, stop telling me your feelings. I really don’t care. I don’t have the time, or the patience, to discuss your personal feelings in this regard. Make the appropriate referrals, and let’s start the appropriate evaluations, and THEN we’ll talk about whether or not my children “qualify”.
Until then? Kindly hold your tongue.

1 comment:

Jonah said...

Good luck fighting the system.
Do you use a tape recorder or lawyer? My parents are always awed by the difference that bringing a lawyer to special ed meetings makes, and I know an aspie dad who taped everything and then showed the school district, so he didn't even need a lawyer.