I've been reading your screed for years now and
I've come to toss a personal story in your lap
Subject: Our son, Matthew, is disabled
Our son, Matthew, is severely
developmentally disabled. He is 8, doesn't speak but has over
He was placed in a special
ed. program at Wailuku Elementary, on Maui, in 2005. We went to regular
monthly meetings and advocated for him,
By March of 2009, his behavioral
interventions exacerbated his behaviors and Matthew ended up being fully
isolated in a room with a half door locked
We lost our case. It is obvious that the hearing Officer seems to have purposely avoided the legal questions we raised and ignored the relevant law.
After 3 months at Horizons,
Matthew is integrated with the general population, has a friend, his negative
behaviors have declined by more than 90%
Even though the state education
specialist, Leslie Alexander, stated that private placement would cost
the state less money, the school principal
A May 19, 2009 GAO report
found hundreds of allegations that schoolchildren have been abused, and
some even died, as a result of inappropriate
While we appeal to the Federal
District Court what is a very strong legal case, the private school, Horizons
Academy, has agreed to cover Matthew's
While direct donations to Horizons would be great, we are also putting together a publicity campaign in order to:
1) Raise funds for Horizons through individual donations, foundations, grants and the like.
2) Put pressure on the hawaii DOE, through publicity of this case, to settle.
3) Find new clients for Horizons
I am currently putting together a facebook page.
Your help in getting the word
out would be greatly appreciated and have a profound effect on the lives
of developmentally disabled children,
The money we need to raise
is substantial. Horizons would spend $80,000 to $100,000 on Matthew's program
but remember, The State education
Horizons can be reached at: (808) 575-2954. Donations are welcome.
Matthew's case number is DOE-SY0809-100
Joe, does Matthew have access to a computer?
I saw an autistic boy on 60 Minutes who was so frustrated that he couldn't
speak but then
You've got little to lose by trying to get him online.
I wish you luck - I can't imagine what you're going thru.