Navigating the school years takes extra planning for parents of children with special needs

Special needs part 2

Publication: Lowcountry Parent (Special Needs Series Part 2)
Date: October 2015


Whitney Reafler has Wednesdays off from her job in quality assurance at the Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center, so every other week she heads to Mount Pleasant Academy to join in her 7-year-old daughter’s class. She sits in circle time or participates in field trips. While parental involvement is important for all children, it can be even more critical in building relationships with teachers instructing children with special needs.


Reafler’s daughter, Dori, has CASK gene mutation, a rare genetic disorder.


Though Dori is the normal height and weight of a 7 year old child, she’s non-verbal and cognitively like a 2 year old. She has an uneven gait and various gastrointestinal issues. Her smaller-than-average head, relatively unnoticeable to most people, is the cause of her intellectual disabilities, Reafler explained.

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