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Some Mississippians are learning how to advocate for childre

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Some Mississippians are learning how to advocate for children with special needs
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Molly Miller and her daughter Savannah
Molly Miller

Children with special education needs can have a hard time getting the services they require. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports on a group of advocates working to teach parents and legal professionals.

Molly Miller says she adopted six-year-old Savannah from an orphanage in China about four years ago. She says Savannah's biggest challenge is that she's non-verbal.

"When she came home we did like every parent and went through every doctor and every test and she does have a small duplication on chromosome fifteen and one of her diagnosis is autism," said Miller.

Pam Dollar is the executive director of the Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities. She says they want to make sure parents are up-to-date on laws about special education. She also hopes participants who are attorneys will want to practice disability law in Mississippi.

"Cause right now, there are not that many attorneys. Very, very few. I could probably count them on my hand that actually represent families. Now we have attorneys in the state that represent school districts," said Dollar.

Miller says she wants to do all she can to help Savannah reach her full potential. At the same time, she says she's learning more about practicing disability law to help kids just like her daughter.

"I do criminal law. I am actually a prosecutor. I'm a special assistant attorney general and so this was way outside of my field of expertise. So I'm here for multiple reasons. Number one, to make sure I can advocate for my child and I see the need for special education lawyers," said Miller.

Information about special education laws and legal representation is on the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities website. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.