I have spent the past 12 years working in the field of property management. I’ve done everything from managing large scale corporate residential ventures to building a start-up property management company from a few multi-family units into a profitable portfolio of over 700 units. For the longest time, I thought I would be in that business forever…. That all started to change when my stepson Marky came into my life.
Marky is a thirteen year old boy with OCD, Autism and Tourette Syndrome. The experience of parenting him has changed me. Seeing this sweet boy and knowing the almost insurmountable nature of his needs spurred me on to work for him day after day. Intake forms, admissions paperwork, IEP’s, regulations, waiting lists, and miles of bureaucratic red tape (MassHealth applications!) are what I fought through on a weekly basis to get this boy the services that he so desperately needed.
This really opened my eyes to the educational challenges for special needs children. While there are many laws and protections for such children, I found out firsthand how challenging it is to navigate the maze of paperwork, endless phone calls, and meetings required to secure it. I realized that I was not going to waste another moment in the corporate world; instead I wanted to help families get what their children need to receive an education.
3/21/2019 Edited to add.....
It was recently brought to my attention that my website has something missing, today I correct that.
On the About page I wrote about how Marky, my stepson was one of the inspirations for my career change and how I learned just how much extra help some kids need. I did not write about my 12-year-old stepson Chris and what he has contributed to who I am today.
I did this because Chris is in public middle school (ACK!) and I wanted to respect his privacy. Recently Chris asked me why he was not included on my website, I told him, and he said he was ok with me sharing about him.
* Note to self – ASK next time, don’t assume I know what a 12-year-old is thinking.
So today I am thrilled to tell you all about Chris!
He is without a doubt one of the most creative people I know in real life. He has a super-fast brain that he is still growing into and learning to control so the rest of us can keep up with him. His memory is excellent and when he is interested in learning something, he learns it completely, top to bottom & inside and out. Our favorite thing to do together is to watch movies and pick out characters that reminded us of his Dad, think John Candy in Uncle Buck….yes we do this mostly to laugh about the ridiculous scene that we can see being recreated in our kitchen if only his Dad could find a shovel big enough…but we do it with love so I’m pretty sure its allowed.
Chris, as the younger brother of Marky had early intervention from a very young age and has had many different labels and diagnosis over his lifetime. He currently has listed ADHD and a SLD in reading. What I most want to explain is that Chris has shown me that we need to teach kids how they learn, not how we think they should learn. I know Chris will do wonderful things with his fast, creative brain and I love that I get to have him in my life. I am especially honored that Chris trusts me and believes in me, its pretty much the best feeling in the world.
I have received training in advocacy and special needs education laws from The Federation for Children with Special Needs, SPAN, and Wrights Law. My clients today include children from ages 5-22, with challenges including ASD, OCD, trauma, emotional disabilities, ADHD, executive function issues, specific learning disabilities, communication impairments, Tourette Syndrome and behavioral issues.
My volunteer services include working at the call center at The Federation for Children With Special Needs and serving as a special education surrogate parent for children in state custody.
We offer a free in person consultation.