The life of our Sickle Parents

Apr. 5, 2017

Please take time to read this: well intended but ill-advised at present time: Bill 610
For those of you not in the education field, you may not understand a lot of the educational jargon and the foundation of the American education system.
Having a school voucher system (proposed by Education secretary Betsy DeVos) doesn't just mean you can choose any school you want your kid to go to. Let's be clear here, just because you choose that school does NOT mean they have to accept your child. It also means the public education program will be dismantled. Let me explain...
If your child has an IEP, frame it. Then kiss it good-bye.
If you have a job in special-education, meaning if you're a: special education teacher, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, a para, or a teacher's aid, you're in the same boat. If you are an ESL teacher, you'll go first.
House Bill 610 makes some large changes. Inform yourselves. This bill will effectively start the school voucher system to be used by children ages 5-17 and starts the defunding process of public schools.
The bill will eliminate the Elementary and Education Act of 1965, which is the nation's educational law that provides equal opportunity in education.
ESSA is a big comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners, advanced and gifted kids in AP classes, ESL classes, classes for minorities such as Native Americans, Rural Education, Education for the Homeless, School Safety (Gun-Free schools), Monitoring and Compliance, and Federal Accountability Programs. Yes, there are all of these programs happening in our education system, in addition to just academics.
The Bill also abolishes the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act) which provides nutritional standards in school breakfast and lunch.
The bill has no wording whatsoever protecting Special Needs kids, no mention of IDEA, and FAPE.
Some things ESSA does for Children with Disabilities:
-Ensures access to the general education curriculum.
-Ensures access to accommodations on assessments.
-Ensures concepts of Universal Design for Learning.
-Includes provisions that require local education agencies to provide evidence-based interventions in schools with consistently underperforming subgroups.
-Requires states in Title I plans to address how they will improve conditions for learning including reducing incidents of bullying and harassment in schools, overuse of discipline practices and reduce the use of aversive behavioral interventions (such as restraints and seclusion).
Please call your representative and ask him/her to vote NO on House Bill 610 (HR 610) introduced by three Republican reps.
PLEASE let's keep on task with this for ALL children. Thank you.

Dec. 29, 2016
Learn More About Assistance & Benefits
One of our member's most common queries pertains to assistance and benefit programs. For this reason, we have a developed a number of resource articles that may serve as an introduction to the subjects.
Housing Assistance Resources
Food Benefit Resources
Utility Assistance Information
We hope you'll take a few moments to learn more about potential options and wish you and your family a safe and happy new year!
Sincerely,
The Family Resources Team
May. 26, 2016

To All the Moms Raising Kids With Medical Issues

It’s a phenomenon moms like me often face.

I feel like we’re a little different. We find ourselves standing in a group of our peers feeling like we are on the periphery. Not in, but not out. We can’t relate and yet we can.

I think we find ourselves worried about all the same things as other moms and at the same time none of the same things. We live in a world all our own. A world created for us by the unique needs of our children.

I have had a hard time articulating the subtleties of this phenomenon. But one thing is for sure, the traditional rules and definitions of parenting don’t often apply to moms like me. And this changes everything.

Moms like me struggle to feel happy when our kids are doing well “all things considered,” while facing the devastation that our precious child will never get better. Never be normal. Our “normal” is not normal, and so our definition of “doing well,” “thriving,” and “success” must be different from those of other moms.

While the other moms are hoping their kid makes the school soccer team, moms like me are just hoping we make it through the week without an ER visit.

While other moms are worried about flu season, moms like me are worried about hospital season.

Academic success in our house is not how well he does in school, but rather if he physically made it to school.

After school actives? We have them too. But instead of swimming and soccer ours are often physical therapy and pain management appointments.

While other moms are trying to learn to let go, moms like me are trying to learn to let go too. Only we are trying to let go of our own dreams that our kids will have a normal childhood. We’re trying to let go and accept doing well “all things considered” is as good as it’s going to get. We are trying to let go of false hope and come to grips with the fact we will have to keep saying “No, actually it won’t,” every time someone insists it will get better.

Moms like me rarely do coffee or lunch dates. Our nails are not done and we probably haven’t showered. Compared to most “normal” moms I’m physically a mess, still living in the survival phase of a newborn years later. Eating, sleeping, playing and living often need special attention, care or modification. While other moms are worried about their kid’s bedtime schedules getting messed up, mom’s like me are wondering if we are going to get any sleep at all.

Moms like me have kids who deal with a lot. Childhood even in the best situation can be hard and heartbreaking and confusing. We have to watch our kids deal with all of it and then some. Our kids still get earaches, fevers and colds. Between normal issues and their medical issues, it feels like they never get a break.

Moms like me have kids who also struggle with being on the periphery and it is heartbreaking.

My boys like swimming, trucks, dinosaurs and hockey. They want friends and they want to be liked. They laugh and they love. They go to birthday parties and love bedtime stories. Their world is the same as typical kids and they can relate to their peers. But, at the same time they can’t relate.

So often they have to sit on the sidelines watching their friends play, desperately hoping in vain their body will let them participate. Moms like me have to answer questions like, “Why am I different?” And so often we struggle to find the right words or an explanation.

I hate that my boys have to experience the fear and isolation that comes with being different. But it can’t be prevented. It is a natural byproduct growing up with a chronic disorder.

What I hate about moms like me is there are so many of us. I hate that so many children have to fight the seemingly impossible. Their families struggle in silence. They feel alone and isolated when surrounded by peers.

So to all the moms like me, please know you are not alone. Moms like you are out there and we get it.

We may be dealing with different genes and conditions, but we are the same. I hate what my kids are going through and I’m sorry yours are going through something hard too. Hang in there. You are my comrade in an unending fight and I love your resolve. I love how much you do for your child. We will keep pushing on and we will survive. We have to. Our little people are depending on us.

Please know, even though you can’t see us, moms like you are everywhere.

We love you, support you and are rooting for you. You are part of a silent sisterhood. We are standing with you, we are following behind you and we are paving the way in front of you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a mom like you for help. For advice. For support.

To the moms like me in my life, thank you. I love you and I never cease to be surprised at the power of your strength. You continuously show me the true meaning of motherhood and redefine what it means to be a friend. You remind me of the beauty and the wisdom in difference. You’ve given me perspective, resolve and a shoulder to cry on.

Thank you for being there late at night and early in the morning. When I feel weak, worn out and scared, thank you for always lending me some strength.

But mostly, I’m sorry you have to be a mom like me.Soldiers In Training THANKS TO CAROLINE BEARDS FOR THE ASSIST! #ONELOVE

Apr. 6, 2016

Not saying fairy tale ...just saying RESPECT LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING. SHARE YOUR STORY TO LET PPL KNOW THAT IT IS POSSIBLE! #ONELOVE

Apr. 6, 2016

Do you blame the illness when things just don't work out? Do you blame the person that leaves?