In response to "Conference sheds light on autism" (April 27, Page B-1): The majority of parents of children in school-based programs can vouch for the great services they receive from Valley Mountain Regional Center and its service providers. It's frustrating to see outside organizations, such as those who who hosted the Autism Awareness Conference, trying to instill fear and distrust in the minds of families seeking help.
The Valley Mountain Regional Center, school districts and service providers work collaboratively with families. Unfortunately, these outside advocacy groups are trying to manipulate that relationship while charging to do so. If parents feel they are not receiving the best program, information, services, etc. from Valley Mountain and schools, there are plenty of other nonprofit organizations available.
As a teacher and informed parent of a child with special needs, I feel we should honor the confidentiality rights of our children. There should be certified representatives from accredited organizations in attendance at all meetings, not outsiders. As a parent, I want 100 percent assurance that protocol is being followed during consultations and education planning meetings. If there is any question, people need to know there are reputable organizations that will advocate for no charge.