I am the mother of two children. My passion is helping parents navigate through the IEP process. Many parents have asked me to help in their IEP meetings to get services for their children in the public school system. I live in Orlando, Florida and primarily work in the Central Florida area although I can work with families throughout the country.
As a parent of a daughter with cerebral palsy, I know firsthand the helpless feeling of going to an IEP meeting alone. It's exasperating trying to get the school to provide a service, only to have them tell you that you don't know what you're talking about. Perhaps you've felt like a failure because you thought you didn't fight hard enough. Then there's the feeling of powerlessness because you don't know how to get the services you know your child should have, and he/she keeps falling further and further behind.
For the past 13 years I have been very involved in the special education system: I have participated in numerous training programs, have worked for the Early Steps/Part C program, Family Network on Disabilities, have started several education programs for children with disabilities, was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to serve on the Florida Inter Agency Coordinating Council for Infants & Toddlers, and in the past have served on the ESE Advisory Committee for Orange County Public Schools.
Why I Do What I Do...
Many years ago, in a land far away, a man left his home to travel the world. He was gone a long time and at the end of his trip he found himself at the edge of a big chasm that was very deep and very wide. The man’s home was on the other side.
So the man climbed down one side of the mountain, crossed the raging river and climbed up the other side to his home. It was very difficult to do and took a very long time. Once home he immediately started building a bridge over the chasm. The man’s family and friends thought he was crazy. They told him he would never travel that way again so his efforts were useless. In response he said,
“I have conquered the chasm and the raging torrent, but I know there comes someone after me for whom this will be an impossible challenge. I am building this bridge for him.”
I am absolutely passionate about helping parents of children with special needs. It is my God given mission.