Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Still here (kinda)

Well, you may (or may not) have noticed that I have been MIA. I wanted to thank all of you for your emails and your concerns as to what is going on with me - you all are so special! I am so glad to have you in my life (cyber-life or otherwise!!).

My son Colton, diagnosed with autism and ADHD, is considered "preschool disabled" and is in a special education program provided by the school district (NJ state law, and federal law, require that students over the age of 3 who have a documented disability that impacts their ability to benefit from an education receive a free and appropriate education, or FAPE). The district superintendent as well as the director of special education have come under fire due to alleged illegalities and instances of noncompliance in the special education program, including in my son's case. There are 85 special needs children in the district - to give you an idea of the significance of these inproprieties, 25 of these children's parents have formed a group to pressure the school board and the town to do something about this before legal action is taken. Obviously there is much more to it than what I am discussing here but due to an ongoing investigaion I can't get into much detail.

Anyway, this has basically become a full-time job for me (without the pay unfortunately!!). The advocating, conversations with everyone from parents to teachers to therapists to lawyers to reporters, and the documentation takes up most of my day. I am hopeful that things will slow down a bit for the next couple weeks since school is closed, but I know it will pick up that much more in January!

Because of all this and the accompanying stress, I have been unable to do my www.RAKScraps.com duties. Thank God that I have administrators working with me at RAKScraps who are so selfless and awesome to pick up my slack (Rachel, Correen and Robin deserve a lot bigger of a christmas present than I could ever give!!). I am so thankful for them. Additionally, I have been unable to help Jen and Krista with www.Storyhelpers.com as well, and again they are so fabulous to work with. They totally understand my situation and just pick up where I have left off. Thanks so much to them as well.

Unfortunately, due to so much time being spent on these special education issues, I have not been able to do any scrapping (I haven't even done my Christmas cards!) or designing. I need to start looking at bringing in some money to help pay the bills for Colton's evaluations and attorney fees - I can't really go back to work due to Calista having her disability and all of her therapies, let alone Colton's issues. I am hoping that I can start designing more and use that income for the evaluations as well as all of the medical bills that the insurance company won't cover for Calista. I prefer to win the lottery though... anyone of my family / friends reading this looking for a last minute holiday gift, a lottery ticket would be perfect!!! Well, I guess money is always the preferred gift - LOL!!!

Hopefully once this "stuff" settles I can get back into the swing of things. I am really overwhelmed by everything and am battling with some things myself with my own health (lupus), so I offer apologies for anyone that my absence has affected!

Thanks for reading this. I sometimes need to just get it off my chest in order for me to move on - so thanks.