Raising the Future of Tomorrow
Houston mom: "Don’t give up on your children."
09/06/2018 6:39:04 PM
Empowered Parent Story
At Families Empowered, our mission is to empower families to engage in a marketplace of schools. Our vision is that one day, all families will have the ability to choose a high-quality school so that all students achieve their full potential.
Gaining access to an exceptional education is of utmost importance for parents of children with special education needs. Parent and advocate Dollie Adams shares her experience as a parent navigating a complicated system to find the right environment for her kids:
FE: Tell us about your children.
Dollie: “Well, Andy is two years old so he’s just a toddler. Ryan is 11 and is going into the 6th grade; he has ADHD and Tourette’s.
Ryan wasn’t formally diagnosed with the two learning disorders until 2nd grade. I’ve known even before Andy’s age that he was experiencing issues, but it wasn’t until around late Kindergarten that I started seeing the symptoms, and that’s when I started to come forward to teachers. For Ryan, learning was always a challenge for him; it wasn’t that he wasn’t smart enough, he just learned differently. In fact, when he was tested for his IQ, he scored well above average.
It wasn’t until the 2nd grade that he was bullied quite a bit, and that’s about when the school started to finally notice that he needed help. Recently, we applied and were accepted to the School of Science and Technology and more than likely he will go there.”
FE: What kind of goals do you have for Ryan?
Dollie: “I have high hopes for Ryan, but he has high goals for himself – he wants to be the president someday.
In order for him to do that, he needs to go to college. And in order for him to be successful in college, he needs to go to a school that will prepare him for that. Ultimately, as most parents do, I want my child to be happy and successful.”
FE: Why do you think parents have a right to school options?
Dollie: “Because ultimately, it’s our kids; we’re raising the future of tomorrow. If you don’t provide the children the correct education, or the choice of where they want to go to feel more comfortable, then they’re not going to be successful.
As an adult, if I were in a job that I didn’t like, I have that choice to get up and leave. So it’s unfair to not extend that to children when they’re the ones most benefitted from the education provided by their schools. You can’t expect the child to flourish in an environment they’re uncomfortable in.”
FE: Why is it important for parents to tell their story?
Dollie: “I think other parents should know that there are other choices out there for them. If we don’t speak up and stick together, nothing will get done.
I felt so alone, but Families Empowered taught me that there are other options, and that you do have rights as a parent. Your school search tool on your website, more parents should know about it because it helped me so much.
Just because your child has a disability, doesn’t mean you have to settle for less. Don’t give up on your children.”