Special Education High School Diploma

Special Education High School Diploma

206 have signed. Let’s get to 500!

Why this petition matters

Started by Christina Shelley

I am Christina Shelley the Founder & CEO of Maxwell's House of Abilities. An organization which works with children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, intellectual disabilities and other extraordinary abilities. Our organization believes in the empowerment and not the disablement of each individual while enhancing their life experience. As a mother of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, intellectual disability and a speech impediment. I am passionate about my son's ability to thrive. Making sure I am fully involved in his participation in programs that help him grow and excel as a human being. This includes his schooling where we work with the faculty to create an educational pathway known as an IEP (Individualized Education Program) followed strictly by the district as it is legally binding.

Despite all the efforts placed to create a path where my son can fully complete all the requirements within his IEP. His achievement is not acknowledged when he reaches the completion of his senior year in high school as he will not be awarded a High School diploma with endorsement.

Unless he also has demonstrated mastery of the required state credits and curriculum of the Foundation High School Program, one or more of which contain modified curriculum, as well as satisfactory performance on the required end-of-course assessment instruments (EOCs) state assessments, unless the ARD committee determines that satisfactory performance is not required on one or more of the EOCs. 

Additionally, the student must also successfully complete the IEP and meet one of the following conditions:

A. Full time employment with sufficient self-help skills,

B. Demonstrate mastery of specific employability skills and self-help skills 

C. Obtain access to services for employment or education options outside of the public school. 

D. No longer meet age eligibility requirements

This is an unfortunate reality for children who fall under the same category as my son.

It makes me question the intent behind creating a legalized pathway for him to complete his education. IEPs are implemented by the district and recognized by the state of Texas. Therefore any individual who’s educational criteria meets or exceeds the requirements of their IEP should be awarded a high school diploma without all the additional steps of forced state testing, EOCs, full time employment or aging out. These requirements should be filled with functional Living skills, community participation skills, vocational skills and independent living skills to name a few.   Help me bridge the gap for our children in special education. This awards them better opportunities to be able to get entry level jobs once they graduate or the choice to further their education through college. Also giving them a since of gratification as well as increasing their self esteem by receiving a high school diploma and the skills listed above at the end of there academic career.  

Our goal is to educate parents on the criteria for the ability to receive a high school diploma in special education and to get the kids the skills they need to succeed. While informing parents that the decision is in the hands of the ARD committee.

Your support in signing this petition would be greatly appreciated as we bring awareness to create equality in the education sector and workforce within the society we live in for all individuals. 

Please help us force a brighter future for the kids of tomorrow!


Christina Shelley



 Maxwell's House of abilities where, "we take the dis out of disability".

206 have signed. Let’s get to 500!