The Maze of Exceptional Education

I thought I was prepared for this. I’d been involved with public education as a volunteer for years. As a Title One volunteer, I learned about exceptional education, the process, the terms and the rights of students with special needs. But now as a parent who is going through the maze of forms, requirements, being frustrated, seeing my daughter struggle, I realize that I’m overwhelmed.

MazeI’m so grateful for the Central Florida Parent Center, who have provided a Parent Trainer for me to advise me and help me with the proper steps to take, but I want things to move a lot quicker. When it’s your child who doesn’t want to go to school because she’s afraid of failing a test, or doing poorly on her school work, it seems like the process is against you.

When teachers say that it’s normal for a 12 year old to have trouble being organized or completing homework and you know that is not the way your daughter is, it hurts. When you don’t get a simple reply to your email from a school staff member, you wonder what is priority?

Besides being concerned about school, we’re still trying to get answers about our daughter’s psychological condition. We only have anxiety as a diagnosis. And she’s not even being treated for it.

For those of you who’ve been through or are going through the maze of exceptional education, how did you deal with it? Was it as frustrating for you?

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Connie Roberts

Professional Blogger
Living in the Tampa Bay area, I'm lucky enough to see beautiful sunsets almost every day. Although life can be difficult at times, focusing on the positive and being with my family is what gets me through.

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  1. Oh Connie, I only know too well the maze and the emotional ups and downs. The thing that scares me the most is that I am a teacher. Thanks to this I know a bit more of my rights. I knew to demand a 504 plan to protect my child who also has anxiety concerns. Still, even when I started the process before school in mid-August – nothing has been finished to date. Lots of tears shed in recent weeks thanks to this mess. Hugs coming your way.
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  2. Oh my goodness. I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this. I’m sure it is very frustrating. As for getting a response via email from school staff, I’m beginning to wonder if us bloggers are impatient or other people just don’t reply to emails quickly? I’ve been in contact with 2 teachers to set-up lessons for their classrooms recently and both of them have taken days to respond (when I have only a week to make something up and do it). Gah! Perhaps, school staff just have too much going on right now? I’m not sure. I just know that I will try and do better whenever I (hopefully) become a teacher.
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  3. I know! I’ve been dealing with the school since Will turned 3 with his speech therapy. It’s liking banging your head against a wall and here in IL we don’t have a resource like that to help you. I’ve got Will’s IEP meeting tomorrow for next year so wish me luck!

  4. Aw geez. Prayer and persistence are the only solutions I can think of. Frustrating for sure.
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  5. As a former teacher I understand your frustration, the legal requirements are frustrating for teachers too. As a parent you are doing what you can, it is difficult to navigate from the outside. The red tape and “politics” of education are one of the many reasons I left the profession and have homeschooled for the last 15 years, my kids are worth the sacrifice!
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  6. I have said it before and I will say it again… I pulled mine out. 🙂 This is why I homeschool Tripp 🙂
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  7. My son attends preschool at a public school and we’re learning the same things. He has some emotional and social obstacles we’re working through, and it seems like we’re totally in it alone. Doctors don’t want to diagnose and his school is offering bandaid solutions for tiny symptoms rather than dealing with the bigger, more important overall issues. Those little things are a symptoms of a real problem that is effects how our son feels about school, family and most importantly himself.

    At 5, he can see that he doesn’t cope with things and interact with his peers the way other children do. Why is it that professionals can’t see what we’re (and he) sees? It’s terribly frustrating. The doctor want documentation from the school and the school doesn’t want to step to far without a diagnosis so they don’t have to provide the appropriate extra support. Meanwhile, my son is in limbo and we don’t know where to turn.

    As much as I hate that you’re going through this, I find comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. Thanks for sharing this Connie.

  8. I’m sorry. I have no words of wisdom on this just a big hug for you and your daughter and hopes that you can get the answers that you seek.
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  9. Excellent points and post! Hits home for me for sure.

    You’re right- as parents, especially when we are emotionally involved, it is hard to see the forest for the trees. Mom’s like you sharing their stories like this is a resource that is priceless!

    I want to start an advocacy program here in our area.


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