Advocate Speaks Out for Special Needs Students to Stop Abuse in American Schools
Child prodigy Shirley Cheng advocated aide screening and monitoring for special needs students on The Rose Moore Show on June 10, 2006. Listen to the one-hour show at http://www.alltalkradio.net/rosemoore. The episode is located toward the bottom of the page.
As horrible as it is, abuse is going on in schools and the schools are not preventing it. Students with special needs are being "cared" for by abusive and incompetent one-to-one aides, and we must put an end to this crime. If you can help, please do so and contact Shirley.
"We're fighting human nature here," says Shirley, a victim and survivor of abuse when she attended public schools. "It is much harder to fight human nature than it is to fight the laws. This problem needs to be fix from the very top--the government needs to set laws or policies to prevent abuse."
"The problems with the bad aides actually lies in the topmost authorities--the school officials," says Shirley.
"What could a single woman (the aide) possibly do when she isn't allowed to abuse a child? If the society does not allow abuse from happening, this would not occur," Shirley further says. "We have abuse all over the place--in hospitals and nursing homes--and most of the time, it could be prevented or stopped. But when people who have the power to stop it don't, we arrive at a sad dead end."
Listeners are urged to e-mail Shirley to have their questions answered. Visit Shirley's website to listen to some of her previous radio interviews: http://www.shirleycheng.com.
This is a very serious issue, no doubt, but it is also one I had personally dealt with as a disabled student in public schools. I survived abuse and mistreatment from the one-to-one aides who assisted my physical needs. My mother and I complained to the schools, our voice was ignored, and I kept on hurting. Trying to have the school switch the abusive aides for me, my mom had called Child Protective Services, the police, the local newspapers, the Health Department, etc., etc., etc.; we wrote letters and she personally delivered them to a senator's office; we wrote letter after letter to principals, superintendents, etc.. What did we achieve? Nothing. No one could help--CPS and the police refused to help. After the school finally assigned a new aide for me, the new aide turned out to be another abusive or incompetent aide, so we were stuck with the same problem all over again.
Please, this must not happen to any more students...or the disabled people in general. If you know anyone who is involved with this one way or another, please have that person contact me. I need all the help I can get; one person like myself cannot move mountains--we need to combine our power to make the world a better place. Thank you.
But I must stress here that I did have a couple of wonderful ladies to be my aides, and I was very grateful for that. I also had an excellent principal in 8th grade, so switching aides was not a problem at all that year.
Shirley Cheng (b. 1983), a blind and physically disabled motivational speaker, poet, author of five books, and contributing author of seven books, has had severe juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since infancy. Owing to years of hospitalization, she received no education until age eleven. However, after only about 180 days of special education in elementary school, she mastered grade level in all areas and entered a regular sixth grade class in middle school. Unfortunately, Shirley lost her eyesight at the age of seventeen. After a successful eye surgery, she hopes to earn multiple science doctorates from Harvard University.
Shirley advocates aide/caregiver screening and monitoring for students with special needs and the disabled people in general because she was mistreated and abused by one-to-one aides when she attended school. "The trouble with the uncaring aides actually lies in the authorities," she says. "If they listened to my complaints and kept a close watch on the aides, I wouldn't have gone through all the suffering."
Shirley is also an advocate of parental rights in children's medical care. As a parental rights advocate, she wants to help today's loving parents protect and keep custody of their children. "When doctors ask yes or no, parents should have the right to say no," says Shirley, who is the survivor of the 1990 five-month internationally broadcast news of mother's custody case against a doctor. Juliet was on CBS This Morning with Paula Zahn.
"Although I'm blind, I can see far and wide; even though I'm disabled, I can climb high mountains," says Shirley. "Let the ropes of hope haul you high!"
Shirley Cheng is the author of Daring Quests of Mystics (ISBN: 978-1-4116-5664-2), a soothing read to relax the mind, body, and spirit; an empowering 700-page autobiography, The Revelation of a Star's Endless Shine: A Young Woman's Autobiography of a 20-Year Tale of Trials and Tribulations (ISBN: 978-1-4116-1860-2); and Dance with Your Heart: Tales and Poems That the Heart Tells (ISBN: 978-1-4116-1858-9), an anthology of inspirational and fantasy short stories (fairy tales, fables, and myths) and poems for the heart from the heart.
With highly acclaimed experts like Dr. Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, and Brian Tracy, Shirley co-authored Wake Up...Live the Life You Love: Finding Life's Passion, the latest installment in the bestselling Wake Up...Live the Life You Love series; she is also the co-author of 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life, Volume 2, along with leading experts Jack Canfield, John Gray, Richard Carlson, Alan Cohen, Bob Proctor, et al.
She had been published twice before her writing career. One of her short stories, Mary Miller, the Elusive Lady, received Honorable Mention and was published by the Poughkeepsie Journal in 1997, and a poem, The Colors of the Rainbow, earned merit status and was published in Celebrate! New York Young Poets Speak Out in 1999. At the start of the New Year 2006, Shirley tied for 1st place in the national writing contest for Be the Star You Are! founded by New York Times bestselling co-author, TV/radio personality Cynthia Brian. Shirley's winning entry, titled The Jewel from Heavenly Father, is dedicated to her beloved mother Juliet Cheng, the cornerstone and light of her life. In 2007, Shirley received Honorable Mention in the same contest for her essay of overcoming blindness, I Hold the Power. Both essays can be read on Shirley's site, http://www.shirleycheng.com
Shirley is available for interviews, speaking engagements, book signings, and inspirational events. She has been on over twenty radio shows, including Cynthia Brian's Be the Star You Are! for three times, The Donna Seebo Show, and Stu Taylor on Business. She was featured in World Journal, the largest Chinese national newspaper in North America, in 2004.