Helping Children go from Sad to Glad in School

We love our children. We send our children to school knowing that the teachers will treat them with basic human dignity and the school will help our sons and daughters blossom into the future contributing members of society we aspire for them to become.

When children show up for kindergarten, not all of these kids react well to the classroom environment. My son was hyperactive. Starting in kindergarten, I was called to the school office weekly to take my son home for bad behavior. When I would arrive at the Principal’s office, I would walk through the door and go sit down next to my son, whom was sitting on a couch waiting for me. The Principal then would say to my child: "you are a bad boy" before bending down to exclaim, in his face: “you are a bad boy. Do you understand what you did was bad.” After shaming the boy, the Principal would suspend my 5 year old. My son would just collapse on my lap crying. I didn’t know how to handle this experience when I was a young mother. I used to just carry my son out of the office lumped over on my shoulder while we both cried together. These stigmatizing experiences continued for a long time before I learned how to force bureaucrats to follow lawful procedures. By advocating for my son, I was able stop the school system from destroying my son's self-image and change the path of school failure he was on into a path of school success and eventual independence and full-time adult employment.

I needed a knowledgeable friend during those times when the school system was not operating the way it should. Over time, I learned that I was not alone and a lot of parents experience the same problems with the school system I did. As a result of my experiences, I’ve developed a service for coming along side parents as a knowledgeable friend to assist parents in helping their children go from sad to glad in school.  
 
Do You Need Help?
 
1. Does your child need help in school?
2. Is your child reading at grade level or is your child's behavior causing a disruption to him/herself and/or others in the classroom?
 
An ACE parent advocate will talk to you and can answer many questions about school procedures and the special education process. 
 
We assist parents in the process of helping their children succeed in school. We assist parents by helping them use available school system options that ensure procedural laws are followed in the treatment of children with learning and behavioral problems. We help all types of families and we assist in cases where children are not identified with a disability, as well as cases where children have disabling conditions such as:
  • learning disabilities 
  • developmental disabilities
  • physical disabilities 
  • psychological disabilities   

Why Our Work Is Critically Important! 

A Child’s Self Image 

We recognize that schooling affects a child's self-concept and who s/he will become as an adult individual. When children with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, and undiagnosed emotional disorders do not get needed help in school, healthy maturation and learning is inhibited.

ACE is dedicated to helping parents of special needs children plan an appropriate public education designed to create healthy productive future citizens. We achieve our mission by providing parents of special needs children intensive case analysis and support utilizing available methods for ensuring lawful treatment and accurate intervention. 

Research shows that students who get their needs met in school while they are young are:
  • Less likely to drop out
  • More likely to go to college
  • More likely to find stable long term employment as adults
 

We achieve our mission by providing parents with:

  • ensuring the school evaluates a child for special education eligibility, when appropriate. 
  • Intensive case analysis using your child's cumulative school records, work samples, parent interviews combined with a high level of parent-advocate communication and educational and legal research.
  • Developing important issues to be addressed with the school district
  • Negotiation with school districts on behalf of children and parents
  • Explanations of special education rights, procedures, and responsibilities
  • Support for parents by attending 504 or IEP meetings with them
  • Recommendations and options for parents regarding educational needs, including testing, remediation, placement, and services
  • Assistance to become an active decision-maker in special education
  • Filing California state compliance complaints 
  • Facilitating the development of school district based parent-networks
  • Keeping parents informed about current political and legal changes 
  • Helping create change through grass-roots activism

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