Parent Interview: Jacy Kennedy
Why did you need Special Education Advocacy?
I was feeling extremely overwhelmed with the whole ARD process. There was a lot of information I was missing. Didn’t have what I needed to guide my son in the right direction. How do I speak to the people at school? There were so many things. Rondi informed me of things I didn't even know I needed to know. She walked me through. She gave me an informational session on the phone. It was so helpful. Made me feel like I really was on the right track. I needed reassurance. I felt alone and lost. The night before my husband met you I was up crying. What are we going to do next year? I don’t want him separated from the typically developed kids. The system was failing him and I felt like I was failing him as well because I didn’t know what to do. The situation he was in was detrimental. He was in a classroom with kids with extreme behaviors and he was picking up some of the behaviors. I didn’t know how to advocate for him. Rondi helped me. At our last ARD meeting [last year] it turns out I didn't even know why I was there. I misinterpreted the language. It was extended school year services and I thought it meant extending the school year. They didn't explain what the services were so I wasn't aware they were talking about summer school. Though they were talking about speech therapy or OT. [At our meeting with Rondi] I feel like there was more dialogue. It seemed to be more open. A lot more communication and a lot more questions were asked. We really wanted to dig deep and make sure we were doing the right thing. I’m just trying to figure things out.
How did it feel having support?
It was a huge relief. I felt a weight taken off my shoulders, connected. I didn’t feel like an outsider anymore. She just made me feel like I wasn't the only one going through this. That’s what I needed the most out of anything.
How has it been going since we concluded?
They implemented daily communication sheets. That wasn’t being done last year. I get a report every day and it’s something I have to seek out. We have a plan in place to deal with the behavior issues he was dealing with . It has opened communication and also I've been able to reach out to Rondi about a few other things that have happened since for general support and to make sure we're on the right path.
It’s a support system that’s not available anywhere else. It bridges the gap between the parent and the school system. We are so grateful. I can’t even express it in words.
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