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Navigating the System: Things You Should Know

I am consistently surprised at stories I hear from families who are advocating for their children with special needs…surprised because I can’t believe what they HAVEN’T been told. Children with disabilities are protected by state and federal laws that ensure educational support services and social systems supports; however, time & time again, when I ask families about IEP goals or about receiving SSDI, I’m often met with blank stares and silence.

Where are our systems failing in reaching these families and in informing them of their rights and more importantly, of their childrens’ rights?

I hope to use this category (Navigating the system of disability services) as a sounding board and message posting where I can share information about how to make sure that your child is getting the supports he/she needs. You do not have to “navigate the system” alone – there are plenty of people, agencies, and systems in place that offer assistance. Easter Seals Southwest Florida is one of those agencies!

Kameron Partridge, Ph.D.

Vice President of Programs & Services