I know from personal experience how overwhelming it can be to navigate the special education system.
As a parent of a child with special needs, I know from experience how frustrating and overwhelming it can be to attend meetings where you are outnumbered. Educating school personnel about my son's unique needs and challenges each school year was like starting from scratch. IEP meetings were aggravating, particularly if the school personnel were unresponsive to my concerns. It was common for teachers to misunderstand my son's challenges and to assume he was being lazy or oppositional. My child was suffering, and it became a full time job to ensure that he was okay at school every day.
Even with my professional background as a clinical social worker, I had a hard time dealing with the complexities of the special education system. I needed to educate myself and get the help of an attorney and my son's private therapists, and ultimately to file for due process to get what my son needed. I realized that getting through the IEP process must be a common problem for parents. As a result, I decided to dedicate my professional efforts toward special education advocacy and counseling.
Parents often aren't aware of their rights, and aren't familiar the laws that protect children with special needs. The labyrinth of assessments, testing, educational labels, service options, and technical jargon can leave parents feeling confused. Sometimes services are not implemented, or are simply not offered. And if they are denied services, parents usually don't know how to apply the law to work in their favor. Unfortunately, many times an adversarial relationship develops between parents and school personnel which makes it even more difficult to get their child's needs met. In short, parents are at a disadvantage at the table with school personnel.
I am committed to assisting parents in their struggle to obtain an appropriate education for their child. I am fortunate to have been able to turn my difficult path into something positive for others. Our children face adversity every day. They should not have to suffer at school due to lack of support. Every child has the right to learn and make friends. And parents have the right to insist that their child receive the services they need. You don't have to go it alone.Read More