Sharing the Journey
“I am thankful that I reached out that day
and I found the website and that I made
I reached out to Parent to Parent after searching the internet for information on dealing with issues that affect adults with autism. My daughter was 18 at the time and a junior in high school. We were considering sending her to a private residential school for children with special needs and specifically to deal with her autism. Parent to Parent was able to create a match with a family that had children in the same school. It was going to be a residential placement and the decision was weighing very heavily on us. Our daughter had never been out of our house for even a sleepover. We were very concerned about the placement and at the same time we were dealing with her Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and making requests of the high school that were not being met. We had so wrongly assumed that the high school was meeting her needs and that they cared about her outcomes. That could not have been farther from the truth. She was so far behind and there were no preparations for her vocational training, which should have been started years earlier.
Parent to Parent also matched us with someone who had experience dealing with high schools and she knew exactly what to ask and what to do to evaluate the IEP and make suggestions. She took the time to compare what the high school could offer to what the private placement could offer and helped us formulate what to request from the school. She was able to review the draft IEP’s which were long and tedious and confusing to say the least.
Ultimately the school was unable to meet our child’s needs, but we felt very prepared to attend the meetings about the IEP, which was so helpful and just having someone to bounce things off of and use her knowledge and experience was truly a godsend. She thought of things that we did not.
I was literally at my wit’s end when I reached out to Parent to Parent. I was virtually unable to function and felt paralyzed to make a decision about anything. I had lived this for 18 years and felt constrained to do anything. I could not effectively evaluate the options. I felt like I had a lifeline. The matches were invaluable. I was able to function again and deal with making an appropriate decision. I was normally a fixer, a doer and a person that could easily decide what to do, but at that time, I could not. I am thankful that I reached out that day, that I found the website and that I made those connections. I needed peace and I found it when Michelle called me and made those several matches. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.