Excuse me while I grab my soapbox – Special needs edition

imageMomma took a day off from her blog for school orientation because, well, it was a lot to deal with in one day. But I’m back today and busting out my soapbox. So grab some coffee and hang on!

So I came across an article about a local family that has a child in a wheelchair. He was approved for a McKay scholarship to attend a magnet high school, yet doesn’t have transportation to get there. Naturally, the parents took to the media to address this issue. *insert eye roll here*

The McKay scholarship is something offered in the state of Florida for children with disabilities. It’s provides money for the child to attend a specialized private school or another public school other than the one they are zoned for. They base the amount awarded on the severity of your child’s disability and the accommodations that they require. I was able to secure one for Littlest to attend a private school for autistic kids, however the amount only covers the half day program.

It clearly states in the McKay scholarship guidelines that if parents choose the private or magnet school option, they are responsible for providing transportation to and from school. If they attend a public school, the school district provides a bus for them.

What bothers me about this news story was that the parents ignored the guidelines and are pleading with the local media to blame the school district for its unfair practices. The school I’m sending Littlest to is about 25 minutes away from my home one way. It’s incredibly inconvenient for me to take him there. But it’s going to be so good for his development, that I’m doing it. For him. I could’ve kept him in the same public school environment and made it easy on myself, but it wasn’t the best situation for him.

As far as this child goes, I’m unaware if he has a developmental disability or just a physical one. Either way, the transportation factor is something that has to be considered when choosing this option.

I’m not a big fan of our school district. I think the way they handle things and over complicate things is asinine. But rules are rules and they can’t expect the school board to make an exception and create a bus route just to make this parents life easier. Then they would have to do it for me and all the other special needs parents using the scholarship.

Being a parent is hard. You have to make tough decisions sometimes. You have to juggle work and home life and making sure your kids are taken care of and getting the best of what there is to offer. A lot of times, this means making sacrifices. If the parent is unable to make transportation arrangements then she may have to choose another school that will work for the family. At the end of the day, you have to do what’s best in these situations.

I’m all for people taking to the media to call out injustices, but I feel like this is a little over the top and a cry out for attention. Read the guidelines and don’t expect to get special treatment. It isn’t doing you or your child any favors.

You can read the news story here.

*drops mic
*climbs off soapbox


3 thoughts on “Excuse me while I grab my soapbox – Special needs edition

  1. Agreed. I don’t drive (due to medical restrictions) which makes it hard for my kids to participate in extra curricular activities and sports. But we make OUR OWN arrangements, taking into account the limitation. It’s MY job to get my kid somewhere, be it school, sports, or anywhere else, and no one else’s. If everyone would follow the rules, we’d be so much better. Drops mic! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

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