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Readers Respond: Add Your Name to the 'We Expect Respect' Manifesto

Responses: 155


From the article: We Expect Respect
Do you agree with my manifesto demanding respect for all children with special needs and their families? Add your name and your message. Join the Cause

Special Needs Family

My whole family is Special Needs. I have been a squeaky wheel for this cause for as long as I can remember. Thank you for putting my feelings into words.
—Guest WiccanGecko

Two special kids

I have two kids with special needs. I have had to fight with the school system with the first one, and now the second one is easier for the school to deal with. One has Asperger's and the other has Down syndrome.
—Guest Lisa

Another Year, Another Fail!!

Here I go again this year -- I am beginning to sound like a broken record. When will these educators, related services, and district personnel get it? Geesh, these are not your kids so stop trying to push us parents into seeing things only your way. Listen and consider what we have to say. Your system didn't work last year and I'm not about to let you repeat failure this year too!!! Tired of threatening just to get you to listen and implement a program that works for my individual child, not a one-size-fits-all classroom!!! So frustrating that parents continually have to go through it -- and not to mention our kids -- too many inconsistencies!! I wish parents could replace teachers, district personnel, related service providers, and everyone in between who are not on board for our kids!!! Stop thinking our kids don't know any better and aren't as smart as you --you might learn something! Our kids need, want, and deserve respect, so give it to them already. They have given you theirs. Step up or ship out!!!!
—Guest lele

Special Angels

I am the proud mother of a beautiful, smart, funny, phenomenal 10-year-old daughter who is on the spectrum with SPD. She is my hero and a blessing. I am in awe of her every day. All our special needs children and adults are phenomenal and should be considered a blessing. They are smart, gifted, and talented, and should be treated with love and respect!
—Guest Diana Atehortua

Proud Mom!

Right now I'm being constantly reminded of how hard we have to fight for our children to be treated equally. I've been calling to local preschools trying to find out they have an openings. I get "yes, absolutely!" and then once I mention that my son has Cerebral Palsy, suddenly the schools start back sliding and giving us excuses about why they can't take him. He is cognitively appropriate for his age, that's why I'm fighting so hard for him to be around typically developing kids. It's just a shame that most school won't take him because it's too much of an inconvenience because he can't walk yet. Shame on them! They don't know how awesome of a kid they are missing out on! While we have had one school who did agree to meet with us, after they had put me off several times and I stood firm and told them that I didn't want the run around anymore. We met and they automatically were so negative about how this wouldn't work for them, but they did agree we would "TRY it!"
—Guest Elizabeth Stewart

Our children deserve to be kids

Also would like to say that our kids deserve the right to play. All schools should be equipped to allow ALL kids to be able to access Recess time activities. To stand as a barrier only makes us as parents and advocates more determined and we will not rest.
—Guest DBoecker

100% agreed with this

I have a special needs son and i agree 100% love this artical!!!
—Guest Angela Streeter

Ignorance is trashy

Elevate yourself. Better yourself. Educate yourself. Ignorance is NOT an excuse!
—Guest Jacqueline Paquette

Vivian, RN

There is no better job I have had than working with children, and adults, with disabilities. They put life in perspective for me, that it is the simple things in life that matter. A hug, a word, a smile, a laugh, a look are the imprtant things in a relationship. These are the things that get to the heart. And everyone I have worked with has gotten to my heart. They are the best people I have ever met.
—Guest Vivian Dybicz Swibel, RN


I wrote a term paper on special and gifted children. Yrs. later I gave birth to a daughter classified as developmentally delayed, & a son who entered the GATE program; gifted & talented education. I also had two of "normal" intellect & cognative ability. The term paper stated, & I now believe; one can judge society by how their gifted & elderly are treated. I used gifted to classify those with special needs as this is how the Native American Indians refered to them. To them they were treated as those to whom God had given a gift. Their "handicap" was thought to be a precious gift tk be reveared. I agree. My daughter has taught me much about how precious it is to be tenderhearted. Her compassion surpasses mine and her tolerance for all beings, I envy. My son was thought to be ADD and disliked by teachers. I was told to have him medicated. I learned he was intellectually gifted and was bored. A grade surpassed & challenged, he did well. Also, GATE had $ & the Spec. Ed Dept. was broke.
—Guest Kristie

Special Angel

I am the proud mother of a beautiful, smart, funny, phenomenal daughter who is on the spectrum. She is my hero! She amazes me every day of our lives, and I am blessed to have my special angel in my life...:)
—Guest Mother Warrior

Respect Our Input

Since being a parent of a special needs child, I can say the experience has been quite overwhelming; not where my child is concerned cause I can deal with that-its the education arena that I cannot tolerate. When parents come to the IEP meeting, expect that we will challenge you if your assertions are not correct-not because we don't value your input-its more of a formality of getting done rather what is appropriate for my child. Others input is clearly valuable as you work with my child while at school, but remember I work with my child at home and I see where she struggles or could benefit from an accomodation/modification whereas you feel it is more work for you to do. The sole purpose of Spec Ed is to get these children as independent as possible and prepare them for a successful life-not for them to become even more dependent upon a system that will continually fail them. We know our children best so please respect the decisions we make and realize we know what we are talking abou
—Guest lele

It's a Child Future

Parents know their child best, and have seen their child in more circumstances in the real world than anyone. For a child to be successful, parents need to be involved and respected. IEP meetings should be a collaborative discussion of the child's needs, not just a formality for the staff to read standard goals to the parents. The child has one chance for an education.
—Guest Sandra Fortmann

Hatred Has No Boundaries

Special needs children and adults are no different than any other sector of society. Bullying, hatred, ignorance affect us all and it's out of control. There is one entire sector of society that hates anyone, everything and anything not of their world. It would be great to colonize Mars, so we could let them all go hate each other in isolation, and leave the rest of us alone. I'm a grandparent as parent of a severely autistic 6-year-old grandson. I protect him from the world now with homeschooling, but one day, I will have to teach him about haters. For now, we'll just keep working on learning to talk.
—Guest Janet Huggard


My son is on the autism spectrum, he is very friendly and outgoing! :) i know there are some that are so nice and I worry about when he's an adult..he's almost 15. All special needs children deserve to be treated with respect and understanding!
—Guest Jennifer

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