Hi! My name is Raquel, and I am a mom on a mission:
To help parents who are co-parenting a child with special needs.
I have a daughter who has special needs. She is amazing, beautiful, and bright. I want her to have a chance at success in school and in life. I know you feel that way about your children too.
Unfortunately, when separation or divorce happens in the family, the foundation you have built for that success can become less secure. Both you, the parent, and your child struggle to know how to proceed, let alone with compassion and empathy.
The Florida laws that are set in place to protect children in the event of a separation or divorce do not take into consideration the care of children with special needs. Though a general parenting class is required, it is incomplete when it comes to the specific needs, leaving parents at a loss in how to manage this shared responsibility.
I have experienced this firsthand. After spending years building a foundation that ensured my daughter had the support she needed to succeed at school and in life with learning differences, I was shocked to find that other parents in similar situations did not have the resources or support needed to co-parent their special needs child with empathy and understanding.
Looking to the established parenting plan laws, I was disappointed to find that the required 4 hour online parenting class failed to include any education regarding how to empathize and assist a child with special needs. When I tried to communicate my concerns, I was told there was no Florida law on co-parenting a child with special needs.
Emboldened by the need to support my daughter and given the opportunity to help other parents, I have presented this problem to the Florida State legislature and have been encouraged by their response. They too saw the need and on June 16, 2021, my proposed amendment to the Parent Education and Stabilization Course bill was passed.
An Educational Program that will provide information tailored to children who have special needs or emotional concerns will be in effect late this year. This is ultimately an amendment that will empower the parents and their children to receive the care and support needed to succeed in life. We all can make an effective change with education. Your support in sharing this with those that can benefit helps decide their future.