The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Funding

Children whose parents complain the loudest get what they need while others go without

When my son was seriously struggling at school, he was being treated poorly and his needs were not being met.

As the school year progressed, so did the phone calls, emails, and meetings. Supporting my son and his school took up more and more of my days.

It took nearly two years of fighting. This included meetings and communications, but also led me to learn more about our education system, about my son’s legal rights, and the school’s obligation to provide inclusive and reasonable accommodations.

Advocating for my son essentially turned into a full-time job in itself—one that cost us money. 

Some families may not have the resources to educate themselves about how the system works, what their children’s rights are, and the best way to approach these difficult situations. They may not be able to seek out supports from other professionals, something that can be very costly, and also time-consuming.

Yet their children have just as much right to a fair and appropriate education as my son does.

Their family has just as much right to support as ours does.

When resources are scarce, as they are in our public education system, some administrators begin to gate-keep, trying to ration the limited supports available to students who need them the most.

This creates an adversarial system, one in which families feel (justifiably) they have to fight for every bit of assistance they get, and schools have to be overly cautious about how they spend the very limited funds they receive.

It’s pathetic our system so devalues our children’s education that rights as fundamental as equity and appropriate accommodations are left only to the imagination.

Read my article in Age of Awareness.


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Published by Neurodiversity MB

Jillian has Child and Youth Work diploma as well as a BA in Psychology. Jillian worked on the front lines of Social Services agencies from 2003 - 2012. Jillian has taken numerous continuing education courses and has attended various workshops focused on supporting neurodiverse children, in particular children with ADHD.

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