I help caregivers navigate the overwhelming special education process. Caregivers don’t need to feel isolated and frustrated. I want to help them feel informed, supported work collaboratively with IEP Team.
Let's work to address the special education issues which are keeping you up at night.
I discovered my passion for helping parents because I needed to fight for my son and I was doing it all alone.
Something is "off"
I heard this probably a million times when he was little. He was very smart, funny and articulate but also had oddities. He had meltdowns and sometimes eloped. He lined items in specific ways and when something captured him interest, that was all that existed.
He can't stay here
My son was asked to leave toddler programs, then suspended in pre-k, then again over and over in elementary, at times with the specific intent to push him out of the public elementary school classroom. First it was a self-contained classroom, then a horrible experience at separate private day school for behavior problem students, back to a public elementary self contained classroom, then to a separate public special education school.
I frequently got the call in the middle of the day to come immediately to school to pick him up or to calm him down. I cannot count how much time he has lost because of being suspended, whether it was in school or out of school. His punitive out of school suspension at times what he was seeking because being at home, even with no toys, Legos or electronics was preferable to being at school.
Threats from an SRO
My son was 7 and in the middle of a meltdown. The SRO threatened to arrest him and take him to a place where he wouldn't see his friends or family for a long long time.
I was asked over and over if he was evaluated for Autism. To my uninformed mind at the time, I thought, "he doesn't look like he has Autism" and what is typically portrayed as "Autism". (What does that even mean?!) I finally went to Easter Seals to have him evaluated. He received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1, also known as "high functioning" and formerly known as Asperger's Syndrome.
Twice exceptional means that a student is gifted and has another challenge. He was tested as gifted in 1st grade and combined with his multiple diagnoses places him in the category of 2E. I soon discovered there are schools for the gifted, and schools for those with 'special needs' but if there is an aggressive component to a student's challenges, there is literally no place for them to have both the gifted and challenged components.
The "bad kid"
No. Just no. A student with communications challenges, yes. Though articulate, the ability to feel emotions, identify the emotion and need and then communicate all of this is has eluded him most of his life. The result is a fight or flight response and aggression is the way his usually comes out.
The tension in the meetings was horrible. It was "us" against "them". I would often become sick with stomach problems on the days leading up to each meeting. NO PARENT SHOULD EVER FEEL LIKE THIS. My team was supportive but I didn't have anyone coaching me on how to work through the problems and best approach school. It's nearly impossible to do that when you are in a meeting, feeling under attack and overwhelmed because here are all of these people who are saying how bad your child is and that they are rejecting him or don't want him at their school.
I had an administrator continually talk over me. In a particularly contentious meeting one of my team members finally said, "Let Mom talk!". In another meeting I was told that while I am a team member placement is her decision.
Other times, there is complete collaboration. I have felt heard and we have found out of the box solutions to try and problem solve.
Parents need support
IEP processes and issues are not written in a way which is easily understandable and it is overwhelming. So I started attending all seminars I could, reading everything I could and joined the Master IEP Coach® Network. I have connected with professional with whom I collaborate to help parents. I am different because not only do I have the knowledge to help parents understand, prepare and find their voice as an IEP Team Member.
I believe that ALL students deserve excellent IEPs which are tailored to their unique needs. Because of that, ALL caregivers deserve quality tools and support to advocate for their child. I aim to provide services to any caregivers who need it.
During this 30 minute phone call to discuss your top 3 concerns with me. I’ll share with you the next steps you can take for your child.
ALL parents and caregivers deserve help. If you have limited funds, please contact me and we work out a plan which fits your situation.
I will review the current IEP and create an action plan to address the issues which are keeping you up at night.
This can include:
If you have questions about the opportunities available to you in our programs, feel free to send us a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 5pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed