BE EMPOWERED AT BOBBY'S BRIDGE
The mission at Bobby's Bridge is to empower moms (and dads) of children with special needs. We provide knowledge about the special education system and teach the parents how to best advocate for their children in school. We encourage self-care for self-worth through Reiki, Yoga, Meditation, and cosmetics. We also provide information on various streams of income that the moms (or dads) can do from their phones and/or homes to encourage independence and contribution to the household budget.
My name is Kristy Darby, and I am the owner, coach, and consultant of Bobby's Bridge. Bobby is my stepson and has ADHD and learning disabilities. Bobby had an IEP since kindergarten. He was unable to learn the skills taught in kindergarten because his teacher spent 6 months forcing him to write and perform with his right hand. He's left-handed, and she did not know how to teach a left-handed child.
I remember attending my first IEP meeting with his dad before we were married. I sat there looking at the document trying to piece it all together and make sense of it. The school personnel talked about how great he was doing and what a pleasure he was to have in class. I sat and observed quietly, and then I asked a question about his performance. I believe my question was something like, "If he is doing so great, why is he so far behind his nondisabled peers?" The response that I received I hope NO ONE reading this ever receives........are you ready??? "Ma'am, you need to understand that he is mentally retarded and he will never get any better." (I want to point out that the term "intellectually disabled" was not coined at this time. Schools and the mental health profession still used the MR language.) But can you imagine my response? I'll leave it to your imagination because I don't remember due to my anger and shock that an educator would say that to a parent.
After that moment, I was determined to figure out what was going on with this IEP. I utilized my legal research skills and pulled some state school law. I did not realize I should start with the federal law and use the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Any law that I showed at meetings was immediately discredited, and because we did not know any different, we believed the school district. Have you felt that the school is the professionals and should know? Yeah, me, too!
Finally, when Bobby was in high school, I was called for jury duty. Bear with me for a minute because this story is what gave me hope. I previously worked for the District Attorney's office in my county who were prosecuting the case. However, I was unable to get out of the jury duty even though I worked on the case during my employment. So I sat in the jury room with 149 other people for three days. We were divided into three groups of 50 people and then each of those groups was divided into 10 people. In my group of 10 was a man who formerly worked as a supervisor of special education in Maryland. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? Not to release too many details, but let's just say by chance he was there only because he had an address in Spring Grove, even though he was not living in PA at the time of jury duty. Did you get that? He and I both were in the same 10-person group of a jury pool that neither of us should be. THE HEAVENS SHINED ON ME THAT DAY! Over the course of the three days we were there, he and I talked a lot about special education. We hired him to be our consultant, and what a HUGE difference it made!
Bobby's IEP completely changed. The teachers and administration were amazing after our consultant attended the IEP meeting. Bobby was accepted to Vo-Tech for masonry. He graduated with a high school diploma AND a diploma from Vo-Tech. He was a PA Special Olympic gold medalist in skiing. He had the highest score in the PA Special Olympic Bowling Regionals. He played baseball and soccer for local organizations. He was also in JROTC for two years. Currently, he has his driver's license and works full-time in a local quarry driving VERY LARGE equipment. Think of Tonka trucks times 1,000.
Bobby is absolutely my inspiration. Most of his teachers told him he couldn't do this and he couldn't do that. He was fueled by their doubt. We never told him that he could not do something. Sometimes we would say, "you can't do this now because you need X first." For example, he wanted to take various shop classes, but his math skills were not to the level he needed. So we would put in his IEP that he needed to learn such skills in math so he could take this course the next semester. He worked hard because he wanted to take those classes. Do not limit your child because they can do whatever they desire!
The advocate that we had helped to bridge the gap and provided Bobby with the education he deserved but did not receive until high school. I want to be the bridge that helps your child. I have graduated from law school with the desire to help children, regardless of their special needs. This business blossomed from heartache and turmoil and it's time for abundance to be received for you.
At Bobby's Bridge, we believe that you, as the parents, MUST take care of yourselves. You are in for a long haul. You need to remind yourself that you are worth your self-care. You are worth some alone time. You are worth taking care of yourself. It is not selfish to do self-care. As a matter of fact, it is imperative. Have you ever heard the instructions on an airplane, "put your oxygen mask on before anyone else's mask"? If you do not put your mask on first and you die, so will everyone else who needed your help.
We provide self-care for self-worth and information on multiple streams of income that you can do from your phone. We provide this because it is important that you take care of yourself and that money is not a stressor in your life.