Local mom claims school is not providing special needs help for her son

(WXYZ) - 7 Action News is taking action for a local mother and her special needs child. She says a school district won't accept that he needs extra help. We went straight to the superintendent for answers.

Kathleen Dygas is a single mom of a 12-year-old boy. "He has autism spectrum disorder. He also has severe expressive and receptive language disorder," says the mother.

Her son's special needs have been documented by St. John and Children's Hospital.

"He is more apt to be on the computer than communicate with people," Dygas says. "It takes him longer to do something that somebody else would be doing... his work load is too much for him, he gets frustrated."

Dygas is frustrated at Jefferson Middle School in St. Clair Shores, but even more frustrated by the cold shoulder she says she's receiving from the school.

Her son started out with a specialized curriculum that helped him thrive. A year ago, the mother says the district denied anymore extra help.

"It's heartbreaking to go from having a child that likes school to depressed and despondent," said Dygas."I think it's affected my children in a negative way because I've tried to advocate for them."

7 Action News went to the school district headquarters to talk to the superintendent, but he wouldn't come out.
When he finally did come out, he said it was not good timing.

7 Action News informed Karl Paulson, Superintendent of Lakeview Public Schools, about the complaint from Dygas and wanted to give him a chance to respond.

He stated "Of course we won't comment on any specific student situation until parent provides written release," said Paulson.

When 7 Action News tried to ask follow up questions, he would not respond. 

Meanwhile, Kathleen's son just dodge an in-school suspension for not completing an assignment on time.

Report cards show slipping grades, but ironically outstanding effort and positive attitude in the comment section.

"My son has never been suspended for anything. He's never had behavioral problems in his entire school history."

Mom says she also feels like the district just wants her and her child to move elsewhere. She doesn't want to, but admits she'll consider it if things don't improve.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments