Education is a monetary matter when it comes to serving children with special needs in the North Shore School District, according to a new book by Glen Cove resident Tom Gibson.
Gibson and his wife learned that their son, Max, was loosing his hearing when he was 2. By the age of 4 he was completely deaf. The disability's impact would be far-reaching, Gibson said. He and his wife separated as a drawn-out fight began with the North Shore School District over getting services.
"No happy endings here," said Gibson, who said his relationship with his other two children also suffered. "I was so blinded by my desire to get services that I lost sight of everything else."
Gibson links his story to trends common among families that have a child with special needs, warning of the dangers presented to those children and to society by an education system that evaluates special services based on cost rather than need.
Divorce rates are higher among parents of special needs children, Gibson points out, and the consequences of leaving young people illiterate include driving up rates of out-of-wedlock pregnancy, arrest and unemployment.
Gibson and family law attorney Lloyd C. Rosen of Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, P.C. will present a discussion of these issues at The Book revue in Huntington at 7 p.m. Monday.
Gibson also has a website dedicated to educating parents like him and to changing the current laws governing special education.