Taking On The Nation’s Educational System To Benefit Children With Special Needs
America’s educational system is often criticized for not actually prioritizing education for every child, no matter the situation. Children with developmental or educational disabilities are often overlooked and deemed as “distractions” to the rest of the class from the behavioral issues that can easily develop from a lack of understanding what’s being taught.
Raja Marhaba has two children, Jonathan and Omar Jr., with learning disabilities. Her kids grew up in a time before the internet, so when it came to understanding the full scope of her children’s specific needs, she felt as though she was left in the dark. It also didn’t help that the school district thought of her children more as children with behavioral issues, rather than kids who need extra attention and help to actually take in the information.
The Jonathan Foundation was created from the passion and frustration that Marhaba built up after taking on her son’s school district for essentially the entirety of their grade school years. Her battle to find the best means of learning for her kids began when they were in elementary school, and lasted until they were leaving high school. This is unfortunately an experience many parents can relate to, they just don’t have the means or energy to take on an entire school system, but that didn’t stop Marhaba.
“The educational system we have in America is broken, especially when it comes to kids who need the extra attention to be on the same track as their peers. Parents know that the first five years are some of the most important when it comes to brain development in their children. So as a new mom, seeing my son go through the first grade twice with little to no progression or assistance from the school was devastating, and an experience I thought was far too common for parents in my same situation.”