extended school year services. Prior to contacting Mrs. Dillard I had been in constant contact with the district including attending two separate ARDs regarding Deklan’s education. After two unsuccessful, misleading (on the district’s part) ARDs I was becoming distraught at the district’s refusal to regard all of the information regarding the manifestations of my son’s medical condition. This was especially concerning as Deklan, a mere three years old, would be entering school for the first time. The decision to work with Mrs. Dillard was easy and I highly recommend all parents seek her advice once they know their child will have an IEP. Mrs. Dillard’s dedication to helping and informing families’ of their educational rights was obvious from our first conversation. Mrs. Dillard is a one of a kind person and advocate; of the multiple advocates I had spoken with she was the only one to the take the time to ask and thoroughly review all of my child’s history, not just his diagnosis. After sharing Deklan’s history Mrs. Dillard was anticipating and addressing my questions and concerns.
Deklan is a kind loving little boy but there are times when his congenital encephalopathy impairs his ability to communicate which is why I understood a behavioral intervention plan was appropriate for him. It became even more clear that he needed a BIP for his own protection when I learned that in 2012 the district had placed a six year old special needs child in hand cuffs. (*KENS 5) The moment Mrs. Dillard entered our ARD the district’s approach improved. Mrs. Dillard’s experience was evident as I listened to her very matter of fact explain to the committee why Deklan was entitled to a BIP. The attempted to question her concerns yet Mrs. Dillard very calmly listened, followed up by presenting the committee with copies of the actual statues of law they were not in compliance with. As soon as the committee attempted to brush aside my concern for Deklan’s need for ESY, Mrs.Dillard immediately reminded the district that not only was I part of the committee but how denial of ESY would be a violation. Mrs. Dillard clearly understood my concerns for my son’s education and also made sure that the committee remembered my right to be involved in the ARD process.
Thanks to Mrs. Dillard’s diligence and knowledge of the law and special education the committee implemented Deklan’s behavioral intervention plan and he will be attending ESY for four weeks this summer. Working with Mrs. Dillard has been a privilege and I believe she is truly an invaluable asset.
Please feel free to contact me regarding my experience with Mrs. Dillard.
*KENS 5 Staff, “Parents to NEISD: Stop arresting our autistic students.”
KENS 5 Eyewitness News San Antonio 12 Jan. 2012; 1 Web 7 May 2015