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 picture of black girl wearing glasses and looking forlorn with group of middle school aged boys behind her   “I cannot say enough how grateful I am for having the help of an attorney. What you did for my family is simply immeasurable."

Eliza’s father fought the system over and over again, trying to get his daughter relief.  Instead of relief, what he got was the district retaliating against him and Eliza. The district called Child Protective Services on Eliza’s father and filed juvenile criminal charges against Eliza when she finally had enough and stood up to a bully.  At that point, Eliza’s father contacted a COPAA attorney.  Through mediation the family was able to secure what they needed to move to a different state and start a new life.  

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 picture of young girl with reddish hair, glasses and beautiful smile  

"It would mean a lot if you can help me have a fair academic experience."

I am Angelina, I am eleven years old. go to Elementary School. I have two kittens and two puppies. I like to sing, play piano, act, and dance.

I have a congenital cataract in my right eye that prevents me from seeing completely out of my right eye. I also have ADHD which makes me feel more off track and it makes me make silly mistakes on my work. Another disability of mine is that I have anxiety. All of these disabilities have become problems for me at school.

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"You can trade your child’s federally protected civil rights under the IDEA for a one-time monetary amount to pay for private school tuition."

Let me tell you about my son, mighty FuXia. I came all this way to brag on him. He loves Computer Aided Drafting, and he listens to Pink Floyd when he solders circuit boards. The 11th Doctor is his favorite. His best friend is Rocco, a 14-year-old horse he rides for dressage at Saddle Up. Fu was born with arthrogryposis, a severe joint disorder. 

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"Still, there were no changes to the program, and the problems continued"

Last December, an advocate received a call from a family whose 5-year-old son, Timmy, had been restrained and secluded at school.

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"John’s mother, who was at her wits end, knew something was not right"

John, an eight-year-old boy with attention deficit hyperactivity  disorder, autism spectrum disorder, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, and borderline intellectual functioning, finds school challenging.  He had attended four schools by the third grade.

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 young child with dark hair and large eyes  

 The Impact of COPAA's Work Changed Susie's Life

7 year old Susie had leukemia and missed all of kindergarten. While in remission, she also missed 54 days of first grade.  The first day of school is a milestone for every child and Susie and her parents had waited a long time for that day to come.

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 Picture of Boy and Girl reading at desk.  

“Please, he thought, don’t call on me…”

Nate slinked lower in his chair and pulled his hat tight.  “Please, he thought, don’t call on me to read out loud. The other kids already think I am so stupid.”  Nate was in the 6th grade, but reading at a 2nd grade level.  As a result, learning was hard and Nate was miserable.

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        Picture of Alex and Susan at Graduation    "This is a civil rights movement, make no mistake about that 

Susan Bruce, 5/5/

If you had told me 20 years ago, I would be writing this for the blog of a national civil rights organization, I would have looked at you like you were crazy.  20 years ago, I knew nothing of the disability world, nor really knew anything about education.  Even 15 years ago I would have told you the public education system was wonderful.  My oldest son, now 23, just fit into that cookie cutter that public schools expect children to fit into. It wasn’t until my twin boys, Blake and Alex who are now 19, got to elementary school...

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 Life is Like a Carousel - picture of Mom and Boy on Carousel    "Voluntary Deployment to Afghanistan: The Cost of an Appropriate Education"  

Audra Mae Talbot, 5/14/15

When our son, Sam, was diagnosed with Autism, we were living in Germany. Believing we would get better services for him at home, we quickly requested a compassionate reassignment back to the States. I thought it would be easier to navigate the challenges of Autism back home.  
I was, at first, grateful to the public school for accepting Sam into special education. He was three and already had enormous needs. However, it didn't take long for me to realize that Sam had been placed in a cookie cutter program. When I pushed for an individualized program, school administrators pushed back. I learned very quickly that not accepting a cookie cutter approach would require a fight. My husband and I prepared for battle. 

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 Picture of Justin    "It has been a struggle to make sure their schools share our high expectations"  

heryl Poe 8/4/15

I am an African-American mother of two children in Virginia public schools. Both of them have a learning disability. My husband and I have very high expectations for our children. It has been a struggle to make sure their schools share our high expectations. One day my son's speech pathologist told me that she was not sure if my son had a "real" speech delay, or if my husband and I were speaking "Black English" to him at home, and that was the cause for my son's speech delays. I guess she forgot that my husband, and proud father of his children, is White. 

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