As you all know, advocacy has been a piece I wanted to add to Pop.Earth for some time. As the parent of a child with Autism, I know how important it is to have a team of people on your side that understands your child’s rights and the choices you are entitled to as a parent. Too often, the resources parents seek are scattered in more than one place and in some cases it’s too much information to process. We also cannot forget costs involved, especially if you needed legal advice (ie. school district placement disputes, IEP’s, etc).
Conversely, we also hear of the many sad incidents in which autistic children are bullied, beaten and mistreated (not just by peers but, by adults as well). These situations often stem from misinformation, ignorance and lack of empathy/compassion. It’s something I can’t tolerate and led me to decide that a real conversation needs to take place that brings the humanity piece back to the diagnosis of autism. Ideally, I would like this to occur at the school level.
On a larger scale, the issue of services covered by insurance companies needs to be addressed and Pop.Earth will be starting that conversation through lobbyist friends in DC.
We hope this program will bring clarity and provide help to our families.
About E.Q.U.A.L.’s Bonnie Spiro-Schinagle
After many years in the legal profession, I was faced with a family challenge and found myself guiding the school when I felt they should have been guiding me. I decided to take this opportunity to use my experience to help others. Subsequently, I returned to school to engage in an in-depth, scholarly examination of the IDEA and other laws protecting the disabled.
The IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act have helped students across the country gain access to the mainstream. The statutes require active, engaged parents who know the right questions to ask in order to get help for their children.
I am committed to educating parents about their rights and am excited to partner with Pop.Earth’s E.Q.U.A.L for Autism initiative. Knowledgeable, informed parents help me be a more effective lawyer because my representation is a collaborative process. Moreover, in this area of the law, there are no individual battles; one person’s success helps other families.