The New York Times reported last week on T.J., a 12-year-old student with an intellectual disability who the school system has left behind. T.J. still reads at a first-grade level. He was not properly diagnosed until recently, and was not getting appropriate services for what he needed, according to his mother.
Unfortunately, T.J.’s story is not unusual. Of the some 200,000 students with identified disabilities in the NYC system, the department itself admits that about a quarter of those students did not receive the specialized instruction they need just in 2016-2017 school year—and that was a significant improvement from the year before. The real number of students not receiving necessary services is likely even higher, as the department’s estimate assumes that all students’ IEPs currently mandate the appropriate services—a big assumption—and leaves out students who may need IEPs but have not gotten them. On top of that, Spectrum News NY1 recently revealed that the Department of Education is months behind on payments to therapists, and as a result, students are not getting the therapy to which they are entitled.
But we want you to know that you are not alone trying to get your child the services they deserve. If you feel your child is not getting what he or she needs to succeed, equip yourself to speak up. Take a look at our resources page to get started.