“My goal is to help other people.”
Ms. Eury, a DC mom of five, was already a leader in the advocacy community when she met Children’s Law Center.
Her oldest son Haven suffered from chronic asthma. She spent many hours in the Children’s National Hospital emergency room, working with their staff to schedule treatments and navigate the complex healthcare system. She knew how important it was to share her experiences with others facing similar situations, so she joined a parent advisory council through Children’s National.
A New Partnership
At one of the council meetings, Ms. Eury met Tracy Goodman, the head of Children’s Law Center’s medical-legal partnership team. Tracy was there to discuss housing issues that can exacerbate asthma. But as Tracy described the breadth of Children’s Law Center’s work, Ms. Eury realized that Children’s Law Center might be able to help her two younger sons as well. At the time, her autistic twin boys Josiah and Micah had just started kindergarten. They were struggling in the classroom and the school staff wasn’t equipped to handle their medical needs or follow the support plans initially developed for the boys.
Though both are autistic, Josiah and Micah have significantly different needs to thrive in the classroom. Micah has significant trouble with verbal communication and also has a chronic seizure disorder that requires very close monitoring. Ms. Eury had to navigate a new complex system and needed legal help. Her path crossed with Tracy’s at the perfect time.
Tracy connected Ms. Eury with other Children’s Law Center lawyers on our team who could help advocate for the boys’ evolving educational needs.
Helping Josiah and Micah Get the Most Out of School
Over the past six years, we helped the boys each get the right speech and occupational therapy, lined up a dedicated health aide for Micah, and supported Ms. Eury when the boys’ schools failed to stop bullying. We also made sure both boys had additional support both in the classroom and while learning virtually during the pandemic to help them make progress on their behavior and communication skills.
When the Eurys lost stable housing and had to stay with different family members, Children’s Law Center secured transportation so the boys didn’t have to change schools and risk losing the progress they’d made.
Ms. Eury said that one of the most valuable parts of working with Children’s Law Center staff was help reviewing the legal intricacies of the different programs that might help her sons get the most out of their education.
Parents don’t have time to go through and read every clause in every booklet. My lawyer made sure I knew the right questions to ask before each school meeting.Ms. Eury
“Parents don’t have time to go through and read every clause in every booklet. My lawyer made sure I knew the right questions to ask before each school meeting,” shared Ms. Eury. “With Children’s Law Center, I know my voice and opinion matter.”
Their Biggest Supporter
Ms. Eury says that working with Children’s Law Center has helped her become a more effective advocate for her family and for others across the District. She can confidently discuss the boys’ rights even if it’s a meeting when her lawyer isn’t present. She’s also built up her parent networks and shares her story so other families will know where they can turn to for help.
“The need is so high for help with housing and education issues,” she said, explaining her dedication to helping other families facing similar complex problems. “Whatever I do with Children’s Law Center,” Ms. Eury said, “my goal is to help other people. We have to share our resources with other parents, so people know they aren’t the only ones going through it.”
Ms. Eury’s kids know that she’ll always be their fiercest advocate and biggest supporter.
Back at home, Ms. Eury’s kids know that she’ll always be their fiercest advocate and biggest supporter. Whether it’s seeing her take the lead in meetings with school officials or putting together a surprise “Home Alone” movie night with popcorn after a tough day at school, they know she’s doing everything for them.