The overwhelming number of disabilities are neurological. Neurological disabilities make up the majority of diagnosed disabilities in the world of special education. Reading disorders, ADHD, central auditory processing, high functioning autism are the most common. These children (and adults) look perfectly normal on the outside. The inside is another story. Neurological differences create symptoms that are misinterpreted by neurotypical people. The neurotypical people include peers, other parents,school staff, passers by and even some medical professionals.
Asking and getting help for children that "look" normal can be very challenging because parent concerns are not always taken seriously. The recent Forest Grove supreme court decision is evidence of this disregard. Mason's story is similar except he ended up dead.
Another example is the horrific story of dyslexic Jarron Draper who finally prevailed with proper instruction near the end of his school career. Marias story is another. Neither would have had a fighting chance if they did not have the assistance of a special education lawyer.
Adam's tragic story of a boy with an untreated learning disability only to end in incarceration in the Misunderstood Minds Documentary is another.Children and parents become targets of school district lawsuits such as in Laguna Beach where the school district sued the family of an autistic child. Families of children with disabilities are easy targets for contempt and discrimination from others who will never understanding the heroic efforts it takes to simply get a child an equal education.
One of the most gut wrenching stories I have read, is by Crystal Cheryl Bell, called The invisible Woman. She tells about her continuing struggles to get her daughter the proper help from the time she was a toddler. Professionals dismissed her concerns, saying her daughter was "not disabled enough". Her daughter is now grown, and a single parent, and cannot adequately take care of herself or her children.
Ms Bell writes: "As the years went by, I was told she would outgrow her difficulties. I was told it was not hereditary. I was told she had a normal IQ. None of that proved to be true."
To read the whole story click here.
Almost every parent of a child with an invisible disability can relate to Ms Bell's story.
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