Special education group forming

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 5, 1998

REBECCA BURK ELLIS / L’Observateur / August 5, 1998

LAPLACE – Ellie Vicknair Cibulski hopes that with the help of the community the self-esteem of the parish’s special education students will be boosted.

She recently formed a support group for parents of special education students, and after the first meeting the group is turning out to be so much more. She said parents of public and private school students, specialand regular education students and just parents in general all share a common goal – to improve education.

Cibulski, a concerned parent of two in special eduction and an instructional aid at Garyville/Mt. Airy Math and Science Magnet School,said the group will meet once a week and she expects that more and more people will join the effort.

“We want to have some bonding for parents with special education children to learn the many changing rules,” she said, “and to learn the resources that are out there.”She said that often the self-esteem of special education students is low because the label special education is often looked at as negative. “Itneeds to be known that these kids are very sensitive and their self- esteem needs to be brought up,” Cibulski said. “Once the kids get in theclassroom the teachers are so loving. But when they walk the hallwaysthey get giggled at. It hits them deep.”It’s a negative thought right off the bat until you learn about it,” she added. “And I want people to know how special these kids are.”Cibulski said the first meeting was a success and hopes more people join the effort of educating the community about special education.

“We were all in the same track of mind that we want to do something in the parish,” she said. “And its not just parents of children who are specialeducation. Everyone knew several people who want to improve education.”I see that it will turn out to be a very big community effort,” she added.

“Our main objective is to get some self-esteem into many students. Notonly school-age children, but adults who need to continue their education.”For more information and to find out when the group will meet again call Cibulski at 536-8251.

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