Valerie Aprahamian, Founder of Advocates For Angels, is a Non-Attorney Advocate, Author, Teacher of Special Education Law, and Speaker. Valerie’s life work has been to assist parents of special needs children in the development of their child’s Individual Education Program (IEP)—to enable each child to reach the highest expression of themselves and fulfill their potential in living a meaningful life.
Lynda is an Educational Consultant and Advocate who helps families with the Special Education process to receive the best placement and services for their special needs child.
Bonnie is a special education advocate and parenting coach who helps parents find solutions to help their children overcome their special ed challenges.
As a special ed mom herself, Bonnie has dedicated the last 11 years to researching solutions to help her oldest son who was diagnosed PDD-NOS in 2009.
She is the author of Special Ed Mom Survival Guide: How to prevail in the special ed process while discovering life-long strategies for both you and your child.
She has a masters in educational counseling and another in spiritual psychology. She is an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor and PPS credentialed School Counselor.
Barbara Major is mom to two kids, one of whom has autism. She has a corporate background in educational technology where she worked over 10 years with educators to ensure student achievement. She transitioned out of corporate work to concentrate on helping her child with autism.
Like many parents of children with special needs she was led into advocacy when she needed to advocate for her own child.
Marta V. Leyva, M.A. is the owner of Voz de Victoria, a bilingual (Spanish / English) special education advocacy and educational consulting firm that has been supporting parents in for the last 8 years. She currently works to improve the lives of children with disabilities and their families by creating a collaborative partnership between parents/guardians and school/educational teams to ensure students receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) while having both their academic and social/emotional needs met.
Mr. Eisenberg has provided advocacy assistance and representation to over 1,000 families with special needs since 1984. He has represented families in the education process at Individual Education Planning meetings, Mediations, and Resolution meetings; Individual Program Planning meetings, Mediations, Informal Meetings and Fair Hearings for Regional Center services and Eligibility. He has facilitated workshops for support groups on special education issues and the Lanterman Act. He specializes in working with families using interest based negotiations in a non-adversarial relationship. Mr. Eisenberg is also a parent of special needs children.
Kim Taylor’s passion for advocating started at a young age. Both of her brothers had their own unique learning challenges and their parents actively advocated for them.
Brenda earned her Bachelors Degree in Criminology, Law and Society in 1998 from UC Irvine, a Masters Degree, from UCI, in 2001 and advanced to candidacy for a Ph.D. in sociology in 2003. Brenda has taught at several Southern California colleges and universities between 2001 and 2009 and has been advocating for disabled students since 1998.
Dave is the founder and CEO of Sacramento Autistic Spectrum and Special Needs Alliance (SASSNA), a nonprofit organization in Sacramento, California that provides high-quality, comprehensive social services to mentally-diverse young people and their families in the Greater Sacramento region. Dave’s formal background is in applied behavior analysis and psychology.
The IEP can be stressful at times. These five (plus one) tips will help you relax, prepare and feel good about your parental role before, during and after the IEP.