“Our public school district cannot assign him a one-on-one teacher for the whole day. They aren’t able to give him the attention he requires.” – Andrea McNeely

“We were super excited to be receiving the Hope Scholarship this year. I am so saddened that an injunction was put in place.

My 5 year old son has special needs and HOPE schooling (through the Individualized Instruction Program) would have given him the best opportunity to thrive! He was diagnosed with Apraxia of Speech (a neurological disorder), Delay of Speech, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Borderline Intellectual Functioning. I disagree with the last diagnosis. I obviously know my son is smart. He just has a special mind and needs the right people and opportunities to unlock that.

We started with Birth to Three, West Virginia’s early intervention program, at the age of two and a half. The staff was perplexed about his condition, so they sent us to public school to seek help once he aged out of Birth to Three. We were assigned the sweetest lady to help us out. She was a speech therapist who worked at 5 different schools and had been doing so for the last 20 years. After a few sessions she looked at me and said “Your son is so unique, and I don’t know what’s wrong or how to help. I can keep seeing you though until you can find someone to help.”

We eventually got into a private speech facility after being wait-listed at multiple other facilities. It was then that someone looked at me and said “I can help your son.” This was such a relief.

We have been doing private speech and occupational therapy for the last couple of years. My son shows growth with these therapists, and I do not want to lose his spot by placing him in public school. I also know that our public school district cannot assign him a one-on-one teacher for the whole day. They aren’t able to give him the attention he requires.

I am also hesitant about public school because of the cases of abuse at the hands of public education special needs teachers that have come to light over the last few years.

I am a college educated mother who understands my sons special needs. I know what he needs. I have the opportunity to teach him one-on-one daily. I am able to take him to private therapy 3 days a week to help continue to grow and progress. I am able to provide him a safe and stable environment to learn in.

The only thing I’m missing is the funding. That’s what Hope Scholarship would have done for us.

Doesn’t my child deserve an education that meets his needs even when the public school system fails to be able to provide that for him? He ABSOLUTELY does! This injunction against the Hope Scholarship is an injustice against my son.”