Skip to main content


Special Education in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Makes Local News

It has been a crazy three weeks. Here are a few highlights from adventures in advocating: CharlotteFive Story WSOC-TV News Story FOX46 News Story Sign Petition here  - over 1300 signatures online and on paper

Charlotte Mecklenburg School Parents and Students Write Letters to School Board

Charlotte Mecklenburg School parents and students are writing letters to the school board to show their support of keeping special education at Randolph Middle School.  Here are excerpts from a few of these letters: From a current parent of two children in the regular education program at Randolph: "Middle School is a tough time for kids as they are forming character traits that will carry with them into high school. The peer buddy program is a program of honor at Randolph. IB and Horizons students apply for this program to have the opportunity to support the SAC classrooms and students if accepted. Being a peer buddy at Randolph is a respected position. I work with some of the peer buddies weekly at the Lost & Found and I see these middle school students encouraging their SAC buddies to do a good job on their tasks, talk about their weekend fun, and talk about sports/birthdays/shopping/ hairstyles.  The peer buddies model good social relationships with the SAC studen

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools threaten to phase out top-notch special education classes at Randolph Middle School

Right before winter break, I got word that our school district, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, was phasing out the special education classes at Randolph Middle School, Ben's middle school (grades 6, 7 and 8). Phasing out means that rising 6th graders would not have the opportunity to attend Ben's school next year. As the current students in the special education classes transition to high school, the program would be closed. Unfortunately, the school district made these changes without talking to the parents whose children are in the program or those who may have been interested in the school's program for next year. It does not appear that anyone at the school was consulted. The decision was made for next year without consulting those who would be affected. Within the past week, we have received tremendous support from many different groups of people - parents of regular education students, parents of special education students, teachers, administration and school boar

Our Story

My husband, Ryan, and I met in college in 1991, although we did not date until a few years later. Our first years of marriage were spent renovating an 80 year old home in a precarious "arts district". And when I say renovate, I mean we did all the work and lived in two rooms in the house for five years. We both had full-time jobs too. We had no kitchen or central heat or air conditioning for at least two years. To say the stress of it all was horrendous is not giving you an accurate description. There were some good times, but it was difficult for me to live in carpentry filth, disorganized mess with uncompleted projects for that long. It took counseling to get us through it all. Although I would never put myself in that same position again, renovating the house ourselves allowed me to stay home with our children...which in so many ways turned out to be what we dearly needed when Ben arrived. Ryan and I were married 5 years when I gave birth to Ben in July of 2003. My p

ABLE Account Available

Good News: ABLE Account Available It's Official: ABLEnow is Open for Enrollment Today marks an exciting milestone for people with disabilities, their families and advocates. ABLEnow is open for nationwide enrollment at . The ABLEnow program opens today on the two-year anniversary of the federal Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act being signed into law, authorizing states to establish ABLE savings programs. ABLEnow provides people with disabilities the opportunity to save money for today’s needs or invest for  tomorrow . These simple, affordable and tax-advantaged accounts allow eligible individuals to save up to $14,000 a year without endangering eligibility for certain means-tested benefit programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The ABLEnow program offers some of the lowest fees in the country, an online portal to manage your account and the ABLEnow Card—a debit card providing a simple, fast way to pa

Freelance writing taking a front seat

No, I have not forgotten about eSpecially Ben. This site is on my mind all the time as I write about topics from pickleball to running . Since January, I have become a full-time freelance writer with several paying clients. I am involved in a great freelance writer's group that I learned about through an online course  [ affiliate link ]. As my mother often reminds me, Ben is the reason I am going all-in with my new writing career. I started eSpecially Ben seven years ago, and it has connected me to so many people all across the globe. It has helped my family and friends understand our struggles and also help other families deal with their own issues. So you will see less and less new posts here, but I am thinking about creating an e-book based on this blog site. I still have much research to do before I make that decision. I will keep you updated. In the meantime, I will post my freelance writing on social media. Please follow me on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook

First Time Down the Water Slide

Ben had the opportunity to go down the water slide today. We have been going to this pool for three years and have thought about getting Ben down the slide, but the conditions were not always right - too hot, not enough adults to help or life guards were not in favor of the idea. Today, everything lined up and we were given the thumbs up for Ben to go down the slide one time. I was at the top of the slide and should have taken the photos from there - I had a perfect view of a smiling kid slowly going down the slide.