Having a child with Special Needs changes your perspective. Navigating the world with a child with Special Needs can be overwhelming and confusing. Never were those words more true than when my son, with Down syndrome, was born. His arrival brought many questions, concerns, and opened many options. One of my favorite options was, and still is, the opportunity to slow life down to enjoy the small things in life. We better understand small victories as we have received the opportunity to see life through his eyes. What an adventure!
Shortly after his birth, I have started a support group for families with children with Down syndrome. This group helped to educate parents of children with Down syndrome about education, Medicaid/Medicare, legal necessities, financial obligations and opportunities, respite care, and therapy options. Our monthly meetings included childcare and the opportunity to talk with other parents experiencing similar situations and to learn from experts in the field.
Through continued research, I learned more about IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This helped me to better understand the possibilities for education for my son. After experiencing his first IEP, the Individualized Education Program, it became evident that I would need to educate my other children at home. At some point, I have taught each of my four children, including my son with Down syndrome, how to read. Each of my children have been educated in the public-school system for some time, as well.
Throughout the years, I have assisted friends with their IEP meetings. I have advocated on their behalf to ensure appropriate education for their child. This led me to working with families beyond my friends. I offer my experience through serving families across the country with children with Special Needs on their education plans and planning for opportunities for their children.
I have a degree in Psychology with some graduate training in counseling. I have learned, through collaboration with educators, how to work within the education system to ensure the most effective route toward a sound IEP. I have also learned how to advocate with and for families in the educational environment. I participate in continuing education to ensure my knowledge is up to date.
My son has recently graduated the public education system. He loves Scouting and works toward his Eagle rank. Hopefully, this will encourage you of the possibilities of a child with Special Needs. When you need help, please don’t hesitate to contact Butterfly Consulting for your advocacy needs. We are here to help.