I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
I can only speak for our experiences of transition. As I have thought back, they have been, for the most part, positive experiences. Our transition was from the Birth to 3 Program at Curative and into the Cudahy School System. I feel that we have been able to work well with the school district in obtaining what is best for my son Tyler. Both Jim Heiden and Dennis Banach, as well as the rest of the IEP team, have always seemed to have Tyler’s best interest in mind. The transition is an ongoing process
While we ask for much more then we expect to get, there are open minds when it comes to Tyler’s education. There have been years when it looked like we really did not get anything; I think that we begin to build for the future in those years. It took a couple of years to get Music Therapy, but then the district hired a certified music therapist. We have asked for adaptive art, it took a year or so to get that implemented, but we now have it and it seems to be working well.
Our next major transition will be from the elementary school to the middle school. My wife has already begun thinking of what is going to be needed to make this transition as smooth as the previous one. While it is a year away, it is never too early to begin the process.
I attribute our successful transition on 2 things. First, my wife Angie’s knowledge of the IEP process. The more we know going into the meetings, the better off we are. We know not only what to ask for but more importantly how to ask for it. There is good compromise between us and the school district, always remembering that we are looking out for Tyler.
The second thing is that my wife and myself are both active in the process. I believe that the more that the parents or guardians are involved in the process, the better the child will be. We do not just sit back and accept what is offered, I am not saying that the Cudahy School District does this, but we have heard stories throughout Wisconsin where it does. We both voice our concerns in an open yet professional dialogue. We may seem pushy, but we want what is best for Tyler. Once we leave the meeting, what happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors.
As the City of Cudahy prepares for the transition to a new Mayor, we as citizens must be ready to be active participants. We cannot sit back and just let our elected officials do what they want. Everybody must be willing to voice their opinions and offer suggestions. There must be compromise amongst the alderpersons. There must be compromise between to elected officials and city workers. There must be compromise between the elected officials and the citizens. But we all must remember that we need to put the City of Cudahy and all of its residents and business owner’s best interest first. There must be that open dialogue.
We need to look at this as a fresh start, what happened in the past, while we need to learn from it, needs to stay in the past. We need to look to the future, both the near future as well as the distant future. We need to begin the transition to make Cudahy one solid community.