A mother's battle for her son's special needs education

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- It's a struggle between the Sacco Family and Cedar Bluff Elementary School. The issue involves a second year Kindergarten student who just wants to be treated like his classmates.

Anthony Sacco is a loving and enthusiastic kid who has been fighting for life ever since he was born.

His adopted mother, Sandra Sacco explains "He was from a drug addicted family. He was born at 23 weeks and had several classes of drugs in his system. Soon after his birth he had a stroke that affected the right side of his body."

Anthony found a loving home when the Sacco family adopted him but his struggles haven't come to an end.

"Because of his right side weekend he tends to lean a lot and needs a little more space when his class is doing activities on the carpet." said Sandra

A problem that has become a battle between the school and the family.

Sandra said "I have a letter from the school stating that he cannot learn if he can't stay still so he needs to be in a modified floor seat which is unnecessary restraint."

The family responded to the school with a doctor's note; in hopes to solve the problem. The note said that Anthony needs to sit on the floor indian style to help with his balance.

However, the school Physical Therapist sent another note home offering a suggestion. This note said "I prefer/ recommend he [Anthony] be able to use a floor seat rather than having to sit in an adapted seat not Indian style more separated from his peers."

But Anthony's doctor says no, the school's recommendation won't work and sent yet another note to his school.

The note says "He's a very sociable boy who needs to be on the floor with his peers during floor time not strapped into an adaptive chair."

We did talk to Knox County's Special Education Director, Melissa Massie who told us what parents can do in this situation "Generally we resolve these types of situations at the school level but if it does escalate; parents can start a mediation or due process."

"I understand the school has regulations but where is the mid-line where we can meet in the middle so we can benefit my child and not sit at a table and argue for 2 hours." said Sandra

However, Anthony's mother has had enough and just wants the school to listen to her son's needs.

She said "I want compromise. Fighting over a floor seat is pointless for my son's education and it gets us no where but it's all that we're doing."

If you're having an issue with Special Education for your child; visit the website at the bottom of the page to learn more about what you need to do.

http://www.state.tn.us/education/speced/legal.shtml


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