"Today, my mom and my Advocate Mrs. Lorene by her side...had a brief
ARD. I'm going to summer school!!!! Thank you Ms. D!!!!! Feeling
- Linda, proud parent of Elementary student.
May 20, 2015
Dear fellow parents,
Working with Mrs. Dillard has been life changing for my son, Deklan, and myself. I will forever be thankful to Mrs. Dillard for protecting my son, his educational rights and assuring he did not become a news headline. Without Mrs. Dillard’s commitment to show the district that by law my son was entitled to a behavioral intervention plan he surely faced the prospect of being placed in hand cuffs as previously experienced by other young students in our district. I had done everything possible to show the district that my son’s need for a behavioral intervention plan and
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 Eyewitness News San Antonio 12 Jan. 2012; 1 Web 7 May 2015
May 23, 2015
"She is just great and made the district 10 people in the room sit tight work for my sons goals for 4 hours." -
-Suchi, proud parent of Elementary student
May 28, 2015
I have three children and who all have special needs and require special education. I always felt very confident and knowledgeable about what my kids needs were, but after running thru horrible road blocks in the school system. I was feeling terrible and hopeless of not getting the school to listen to me. Coming out of ARD meetings feeling confused and not sure if I had asked for all that my child deserve. I was a basket case and crying. I then, remembered of that confident mother, I met a couple of years back " Lorene". I looked her up and found her number. She returned my call. She listen to me attentively and was taking all my information and frustrations in. After, talking to her I felt that everything was going to be fine. She reassured me that she would help me. She fully understood all my frustrations, after she share briefly about her experiences. The following day she reviewed all my previous ARD papers, progress notes and report cards. She educated me on ALL the out of compliance items the school had missed. I was so surprised, but now ANGRY!. She prepared me and I felt she knew my child better than his own teachers. I had a scheduled ARD meeting and came with Lorene unannounced. The school wasn't prepared, it became a 6 hour ARD meeting by the time we were done. We started with a Homeroom and Special Ed teacher, VP, Speech Pathologist and the School Psychologist. Lorene allowed the school to present first and we both listened to see what they had to offer, then she came along with what she does best. LOL! She educated ALL the professionals/ teachers of my son's needs. She created obtainable and measurable "Goals" in order to make him feel successful. She was very firm, but swift in her approach. They all knew she knew what she was talking about and what she was asking for was reasonable for my son. After a couple of hours the school brought in additional staff to help each other to accommodate to us, because they knew that they were out of compliance. Boy talk about seeing school officials fumbling, it was obvious. I then knew that I had made the BEST decision..... to reach out to Lorene and get help. My child is happier with the changes and accommodations he is receiving now. Thank You for all you have done for us. I truly appreciate you. I can only image how many other families you will touch and bless. I still call Lorene from time to time. I ask her for advice and her motherly opinion ...... she never disappoints me. She is so passionate when she advocates that is her "calling in Life". She advocates like its her own child every time. Best Wishes and keep advocating for our beautiful and precious children. Respectfully, Linda Bolanos Gomez