In this article, I look at online groups that special ed parents form to help each with the crazy, complicated world of special education.
When Stasi Webber decided it was time to uproot her family from their Michigan home to find a better school for her 11-year-old son with autism, she turned to the internet for answers.
The public schools in her state don’t provide the specialized behavioral and life skills training, known as ABA therapy, that her son needs; he skips school every Tuesday and Thursday to receive these essential services. But recently, Webber learned from parents on social media that her son could get both academics and ABA training in schools in New Jersey, where she grew up.
With a tentative plan of returning to her childhood home in Mahwah, she found three or four local social media sites run by special education parents and asked about ABA services at the local district, its willingness to send students to specialized schools and comparisons with nearby towns. She put her house on the market.
“I knew I had to reach out to the internet, because moms are willing to help other moms,” Webber said. “You find out the most information that way.”
One thought on “In the “Crazy, Complicated” World of Special Education, Parents Turn to One Another for Help — On the Internet”
Great article. One of my bugbears is selective access to information, especially when it relies on social contacts, which leaves so many people out. The resources, especially when curated and shared generously help bridge those barriers.
The article also made me think of how the internet allows people to circumvent information asymmetry in so many ways, sometimes in maladaptive ways. Recently at my kiddos school, the children circulated a trapdoor way of getting access to their schedules ahead of time. But, the schedules weren’t finalized (the school started getting complaints about holes, wrong assignments, . . . .). So, parents were addressing issues that may not actually be issues.
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