Special Needs Advocacy
What’s so “special” about special needs?
Children with special needs and their families require professionals who have specific training and expertise. I am a clinical social worker, coach and a special needs Mom.
Parents of special needs children face extra challenges such as, advocating with the school for appropriate placement, advocating with medical teams for appropriate treatment, advocating with physicians and insurances companies to ensure appropriate care is being delivered to their child. This can be an emotional process, parents are often outnumbered by specialists, physicians, therapists, teachers and administrators. As an advocate who is well traveled on this path allow me to help you navigate the waters of Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 meetings, or deal with insurance companies, or any number other systems that accompany your special needs child.
GPS offers special needs advocacy services within the parent coaching framework. Getting an accurate diagnosis, understanding its implications, treatment options and exploring resources is difficult emotionally and physically exhausting. I will help you gain clarity about your child’s strengths and areas of need, then work with you to come up with a plan of action that makes the most sense for you and your family.
Parent coaching looks at your family as a whole so we might find new ways to create a peaceful home environment where all family members thrive. For example; how does the family support the growth of the special needs child? How are parents coping with added stress? How are parents meeting the needs of other children? Of their marriage/partnership? What is the impact on siblings of special needs children? How can parents encourage older children with special needs to take on the role of self advocate?
I am knowledgeable about a great deal of the resources in the area of speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, biomedical, neuropsychological assessments, tutors, and countless others such as:
- Information and referrals
- Parent education workshops
- Advocacy and support navigating the public and private systems of care
- Planning and coordination of services
- Individual and family coaching
- Support for parents and siblings
- Referral to Socialization groups for children
- Parent-child play activity groups
- Consultation for staff at school sites