Did you feel nervous on your child’s first day of school? Do you struggle to articulate a vision for the future while attending to your child’s day-to-day needs?
You’re not alone. Read Rae Lyn Jones’ story:
“FACT Oregon has been an important part of our life since Liam started kindergarten. Liam has complex disabilities associated with cerebral palsy, including quadriplegia, a brain injury, and a long list of complex health complications.
My anxiety level was through the roof when I imagined what Liam’s school day might look like. Thankfully, I attended FACT Oregon’s class on Transition to Kindergarten. It gave me insight on how to talk to Liam’s school team. I felt empowered to advocate for the desires we have for our son’s school experience. We wanted Liam to be in a general education classroom with his non-disabled peers.
At our first school meeting, we got pushback. The school team suggested Liam be in a medically fragile classroom with the nurses. But Liam is just like any other boy his age. He feels the same. He has the same interests and desires. I couldn’t think of any good reason to exclude him from his peers. I called FACT Oregon and spoke to an encouraging Family Support Specialist. She helped me understand and better articulate that our desire for Liam to be included in general education was in line with the intent of IDEA (The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.)
Flash forward to today. Liam is in 5th grade and included in a general education classroom with his non-disabled peers. He has a nurse with him during the school day to meet his medical needs. Most importantly, he is thriving. Liam’s classmates are growing into compassionate, kind, empathetic kids by being with Liam. They want to help him be part of it all. They push his wheelchair, help him access things in the classroom, read with him, watch out for him, include him. Liam is by all definitions just one of the guys! Thank you, FACT Oregon for providing me with the tools to help my son succeed in his school environment.”
FACT Oregon’s Family Support Specialists are highly trained to support families and connect them to resources and information on special education, disability services, behavior, assistive technology, visioning, planning for adulthood, and more. Our staff are parents of youth experiencing disability. We support families in English and Spanish every day and work through interpreters in many other languages.
In 2018-19, FACT Oregon connected with families like Liam’s 9,480 times to address their unique and individual situations, a 31% increase over last year!
If you value peer-to-peer support and believe that every family should be able to reach other parents for knowledgeable, empathetic support, then the time to donate is now.
Your generosity ensures our ongoing ability to support families experiencing disability.
We are grateful to The Collins Foundation for a 1:1 CHALLENGE MATCH.
Donate today to take advantage of this special 1:1 match of first-time and increased gifts!