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School Is Violating Child's Rights
Q: My nine-year-old was tested at Scottish Rite Hospital for learning disabilities in March 1999. He has ADD and dyslexia. The school district he was attending in the second and third grades lowered his self-esteem and added to his problems. The principal was impossible to please and worked against me instead of with me. She misinformed me in many areas, and even told me to have him placed on medication without my doctor's consent. I was told to keep him out of school on the days that the state tests were given. It was suggested by the evaluators at the Scottish Rite Hospital that he not be held back. He was held him back anyway. These and many more issues still upset me. Are there attorneys that specialize in matters concerning children with LD and state-funded school districts?
A: You've taken your child to a very reputable place for an evaluation. If Scottish Rite cannot help you find an advocate to address the grievances you've raised, contact the International Dyslexia Association at 1-800-ABCD123 or the Learning Disabilities Association at 1-888-300-6710. Someone there should be able to direct you to an advocate who specializes in these issues in your area.
If your child has an IEP as a result of his evaluation and his school is not following it to the letter, it certainly seems that you have a case. You may be entitled to funding for a private school or tutor at the school district's expense. At the very least, you can contact the special education office in your local school district (name, location and phone number should be on your child's IEP form) and ask for an impartial hearing about the issues you've raised. Good luck!
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For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.