Dear Betsy DeVos

Dear Betsy DeVos,
    I have been crying every night and really upset to find out that you are now the head of the Education department. I watched your trail where they were asking questions. How you had no clue about the laws for Special Education. It sadden me that those laws might be taken away. I have a beautiful, amazing, smart three year old son. My son was recently diagnosed with low functioning autism.
When Miles was born on April 30th, 2013, he was an amazing little baby. He loved being wrapped tight in blankets. He was the total opposite of his big sister in the beginning. He was super quiet and never cooed or made a single noise. He rather be left alone in a bouncer then someone interacting with him. When Miles was upset as an infant he would scream until no sound came out of his mouth. I would have to rock with him in my arms till the feet of the rocker would come up for him to calm down and nurse. While I nursed him never did he made eye contact with me. He didn't laugh till he was a year old and spoke 20 words before then. At 18 months old, Miles lost all speech. This sweet quiet baby was no longer quiet. He would scream all day and all night. Often keeping everyone in the house awake all hours. His big sister has scars across her stomach from him biting her anytime she cried.

Finally, we got help when Infant Toddler Program sent a Early Childhood therapist to our rescue. She worked with him every week in helping him learn how to play how to handle his meltdowns, and work on his speech. When Miles turned three years old he out grew Infant Toddler Program and transitioned him into the local school district. Miles speech has increased enough that he is now speaking on a 18 month old level. His fine motors are at a 18 month old level as is his social skills. On June 9th, 2016, Miles was diagnosed with Low Functioning Autism Non-verbal. It was a hard day finding all about your child. I know you personally have never experienced it. Miles had to have a label put on him. We have a thing called an IEP where we make goals with his current teacher to help his speech, social skills, educational, and OT skills increase. He has made huge improvements with these special services that our school district has for him thanks to the law IDEA. If we did not have these services, Miles would not be able to receive these services. Because we live in lower middle class with a family of five. Miles would most likely not be able to tell me when his tummy hurts or any body parts. Or if he is hungry because he wouldn't have received his speech. He wouldn't be able to run around and play with his siblings without the support of social skills. Did you know that if an autistic child doesn't speak before six years old...they are most likely not speak at all. To have have my son services be met at his public school. I am able to make sure he gets them and for him to have a successful life.

You want there to be no public schools and that is scary. Did you know that my son will most likely never get in a private school unless I pay a fortune. Miles is aggressive when he has a meltdown. It's one reason why I stay home as a parent. Because no day care can take him especially since he is aggressive. So why do you think my son will be able to be in a private school with a voucher. He wouldn't be accepted anywhere and that means he wouldn't receive his services. His speech, fine motors, and social skills would decrease without his services. Not only that but he wouldn't be able to get the education he needs to be successful in the world. Please....think of these kids that wouldn't have anywhere to go if there were no public schools. My son Miles is three years old but has a IQ of a kindergarten. He needs his services and his public school education.

An Autistic Mom


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