It's a Maze Out There!

I became a special education advocate because not too long ago, I needed someone like me and I had no one to turn to for help. I was lost in a sea of acronyms that I didn’t understand while my child suffered without services because there was no one to guide my path. Our family’s journey was a lot longer and harder than it needed to be just because I knew so little about social service systems—systems like:

Dept. of Health Services (DHS)

Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS)

Dept. of Mental Health (DMH)

Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)

Dept. of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)

Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS)

Eventually, I discovered that there are many services available if you know 4 things:

Who to contact

How services are funded

How to access them

In what order to apply for them

It not as simple as 1-2-3-4!

Our state systems are very complex, uncoordinated, and riddled with a maze of closed doors. It takes a seasoned expert like me to navigate your family to the most direct route towards the services your child needs.

Why should you choose to work with me rather than an attorney? First, my services are vastly less expensive than what a special education or child welfare attorney charges. Second, I may be able to help you get the services you need or understand the system that you are involved in without having to hire an attorney at all. Third, special education advocates are often received as professionals who bring all sides together and set the tone for collaborative work. However, if your situation warrants hiring an attorney, I may be able to refer you to a competent attorney in the appropriate area of law.

I take the time to listen to your concerns and put your mind at ease by providing you with a detailed explanation to the concerns that are weighing so heavily on your mind. I count it a privilege to help you sort it all out so that you can focus on the most important task at hand—helping your child.

Once your questions have been answered, I will outline for you all of the options that lay before you. I recognize that each family functions differently, so rather than help you select a direction, I will support the path that you feel is best suited to your family. My goal is that you feel empowered to direct your own path and develop the confidence in yourself to navigate it fearlessly.

I will help you understand how to access that path, what lies along it, and how things may look at the end of the path.

Together, we’ve got this!

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