Families will go to great lengths for their children. Each child is unique with individual needs and goals. This is especially true for our children with special needs. Not all children will thrive in the same educational environment. This is a story of one desperate family trying to help their young son when they believe the local school is failing him. This is printed with permission.
To whom it may concern,
We humbly ask to borrow the attention of anyone who is capable of helping us catch but a breath from the relentless hands of the very brutal dispute we find ourselves in with the SAU-39 school district. The atrocities that faculty members of the SAU-39 have committed against our son, Aiden and us being his parents are to a magnificent magnitude and daily the situation spirals further out of our control. I am the only bread winner in my family, and I was recently forced to quit my job in order to attempt to try to protect my special needs 3-year-old autistic son from horror and pain the SAU39 has inflicted upon what we used to call a happy life. They have raped any and all hope we had as parents that our son will have an honest chance in life.
I remember like it was but yesterday the day I heard my son Aiden come crying and fussing into this world. The doctor handed him into my arms and I looked down at my beautiful angel and realized, that my whole life had been just a mere petty journey, leading to that very moment in time. Words cannot convey the whirlwind of emotions that I experienced all at once as I held my beautiful son in my trembling arms in that hospital room… shock turned into fear, fear into helplessness, helplessness suddenly transformed into happiness, and that happiness gave birth to what I at the time thought to be an impenetrable fortress surrounding the kingdom of my sons future.
Two years later I was stabbed in my heart, tears running down my face as a woman explained to my wife and I that she had just diagnosed my son with autism. My life as I knew it disappeared as the fire of devastation erased the dreams I held dear. What I did not know at that time is that the author of my son’s future is hope. Through trials and tribulation, he is growing to be much stronger than a flammable dream I once had. He has taught me that his life doesn’t consist of my dreams, but it consists of his own dreams. He may be a nonverbal autistic who can’t tell me when he is hungry or scared. He may not be able to tell me he loves me, and to be honest I would give my legs to hear him tell me that he hates me, as crazy as that may sound. For the insanity of the reality of it is, my son being capable of telling me that he hates me, would be considered to me as PROGRESS from where he is at now. As I sit here writing this letter, spilling my heart out to a person I don’t even know, I am watching my son in the other room, and out of nowhere he glanced over and smiled at me… I think he knows… That his father is NEVER going to give up on him. That he does have a fortress protecting his future and that fortress is his FATHER, who is capable of giving away his own pride and dignity, because he loves him so much, that he is willing to get down on his hands and knees and beg for refuge.
I promise you… I am not some delusional father, who expects his son to be pampered by the SAU39 school district. I also promise you that I am not a highly educated man with a mountain of accomplishments he stands on top of while looking down at the world. To be completely honest, I am a beast of burden to a plethora of weight on my shoulders of personal failure and mistakes. I refuse to allow the SAU39 to continue to outnumber me and my wife, adding the failure of protecting my son’s future to that heavy weight I carry through life.
This letter I assure you is not about me though… It is about my son Aiden. He in reality needs help, not my wife and I. I apologize if this request to you is unorthodox in its design. Unfortunately for my son I am not a lawyer, nor can I afford to hire one to defend my son’s rights to a meaningful Individualized Education Plan, created through careful consideration into his Individual and unique special needs. What I can afford though is to ask anyone who is willing to help us; prove that the SAU39 has violated us not only as a family, but most of all violated the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act” in maybe not every possible way, but in the most repulsive ways. What I have found through the examination of the evidence I have in my possession is that, the powers that be in the SAU39 have no regard for not only the procedures, and laws of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, but respect, nor fear of the individuals who have the power to oversee it and give birth to true justice. This is beyond the capability for the SAU39 to have the ability to claim ignorance. I have shown them countless times that they need to acknowledge substantive error, but all they continue to do is cover things up and continue down the path of carrying out serious and intentional theft of not only Federal funds given to them involving ED program funds, but more importantly the meaningful education of a young child with disabilities. Unfortunately my son will NOT be able to be reimbursed the crucial developmental years of his life that he is being robbed of. That is why I ask anyone who has made it this far in this letter to PLEASE; if you have a family member with special needs, or you know someone who has a child with special needs… Please share my letter with them to make sure that the same things aren’t being done to their children behind their backs without them knowing, as is the case with my wife and myself over the past 3 months. I am not an attorney… I am is a father who is asking for help.
By Nick DiGirolamo