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Carly starts tutoring today with a teacher who specializes in Dyslexia. It is her former teacher so she is already familiar with Carly's strengths and weaknesses. This would not be possible without help.
THIS IS CARLY'S STORY
I first would like to say how truly blessed I am to have a child who doesn't have a fatal life threatening illness. I couldn't imagine the struggles and heart break they must endure everyday.My prayers are with them.
However, even though a learning disability is not life threatening, it is without a doubt life altering. Like any other disability/difference, without the right treatment, learning disabilities can lead to low self esteem/ self worth, several types of mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, becoming withdrawn, self medicate with drugs and alcohol. And in the worst cases suicide. These are proven facts. Sending my daughter to a school where she can be educated around peers who understand and share the same differences is the only way to lower her risk so she doesn't become another sad statistic that fell through the cracks of the Anne Arundel County Public School System.
Her learning difference was severe enough that it was noticed by her kindergarten teacher right away. Tested in 1st grade she was labeled as a child with "A specific Learning Disability". IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meetings began.This is where you sit in a room full of teachers/staff/Board of Ed case workers and try to determine what is and isn't suitable for your child during a school day. At first I was relieved she was going to receive services to help and solve this learning block. I was very optimistic. What I wasn't, was prepared for what my daughter would endure during the 4 years she spent in public school.Each year worse than the one before. So bad in fact, by the end of 4th grade I barely recognized my once bubbly outgoing little girl. She would cry everyday before and after school. Sit in front of homework assignments with a blank stare as if it was all gibberish. Many laws were broken, such as not implementing one on one reading help from her special ed teacher that was agreed upon during one the many meetings. Punishing her for not finishing work which she clearly was not capable of completing. Tests were altered by a teacher to prove improvement that didn't exist. All these facts still did not get her the help she truly needed which was/is private school placement. She was treated so unfairly in fact that her 3rd grade teacher quit the school where she attended and began working in another county because of Carly's situation. Learning, as I did the brutal truth, that kids with a learning difference will get the bare minimum help if they're lucky to receive any help at all. Carly was very fortunate to have family pull together and help send her to The Summit School for dyslexic children. It changed her life. She not only found social success, learned her strengths, but most importantly, she was learning everyday. Even became an Honor Roll student. She spent 2 years feeling like a normal little girl should. She was finally understood and looked at as the smart, funny, artistic, beautiful girl that she is. Instead of being shoved in the back of a classroom feeling stupid, not understanding anything that was going on, being noticed and teased by her peers because she couldn't learn the way they do. We spent years fighting a battle just to learn without money our child wasn't going to ever receive the education she needs to be successful. We learned, in our case as many others, there is no such thing as Free Appropriate Education. Unfortunately, her family has run out of all options, exhausted all monies to keep her where she needs to be. So I ask if any of you out there planning on donating to a charity for a cause. I ask that you consider helping a child get the education she needs to be a successful part of society. Saving our future one child at a time. All monies donated are 100% tax deductible. Thank you for reading and please share Carly's experience as it may help others to know they are not alone in this fight for all children to have the right to learn!
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