Would you like to feel empowered, knowledgeable, and successful at your child’s IEP meetings instead of feeling outnumbered, frustrated, and hopeless?
Become the coach of your child’s IEP team!
Valerie Aprahamian empowers frustrated parents to become a powerful advocate for their special needs child so that they can receive the education they deserve from their local school district.
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Big Grit: Valerie Aprahamian
When Chanel was diagnosed with autism when she was 3 years old, Valerie was immediately awoken to the reality of special education, the bureaucracy of the institution, and the segregation that the school district placed upon these kids. She immediately knew she wanted her daughter in a general education class with neurotypical kids.
“They thought I was crazy because they weren’t doing inclusion back in the mid 90s. So I was successful in having Chanel be placed in a general ed class at five years old,” said Valerie. “She was the first child with the diagnosis of autism to be placed in a general education classroom in my local school district. So that’s the beginning of the story.”
You know your child’s needs better than anyone else…
But the complex laws that regulate special education can be difficult for parents to navigate when you’ve never done it before. Training with Valerie will equip you to learn self advocacy skills and gain the knowledge you need to become your child’s greatest advocate.
It is Valerie’s priority to ensure that you are fully informed about your parental rights and provisions under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
The Rights of Children with Special Needs
In 1975, Congress enacted legislation to protect the educational rights of children who are disabled. These laws were created to ensure that children with special educational needs are identified as early as possible and receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).
The greatest challenge to parents and educators can be properly identifying special needs children. The behavior exhibited by special needs children can be misinterpreted and considered as defiance, lack of motivation and/or laziness. That misidentification can lead to punitive disciplinary actions, instead of positive behavior interventions which therefore provide an appropriate education.
If you have just come home from yet another unsuccessful IEP meeting, where you felt like an observer and not a participant in your child’s education, then you are in the right place.
We understand your fears that:
- Your child may never reach their full potential
- Your child is at risk of not graduating with a high school diploma
- Your child may never learn to develop the appropriate social skills to make friends, act appropriately at home and in the community or at school.
- Your child may never learn to speak or communicate.
- Your child may not be able to learn or make educational progress.
- Your child may never be able to get a job or be gainfully employed.
- If you dream of your child attending college, that dream is at risk without an appropriate high school transition plan and IEP accommodations.
- Your ability to advocate can make the difference between your child living at home with you or living independently after high school.
- You are at risk of feeling guilty of not being the best parent you can be by not knowing how to hold the school district accountable to educate your child.
- You are at risk of feeling regret and worried that you’re not doing enough to advocate for your child.
- Your child is at risk of being dependent upon an adult for the rest of their life because they never learned how to problem solve to complete a challenging task independently.
- You’re tired of feeling anxious, hopeless and frustrated.
It seems endless.
The solution is closer than you think.
I’ve helped parents across the country become advocates for their children. I’ve empowered them to be the coach of their IEP team instead of feeling like it is a game set up to pit you against them.
- How would it feel if you knew how to overcome the district staff’s denials and excuses to the point that they approved your requests?
- What if you were able to understand their authoritative “jargon” and “IEP language” to the extent that you could present yourself as an educated participant in IEP discussions regarding your child’s goals, accommodations, and test scores?
- How would it feel if you knew that you were able to get your child the best special education program available that would meet your child’s needs and your child would be able to reach their highest potential?
- How would it feel if your child began to communicate better and you saw them learning and following directions at school?
- What would it feel like if your child began making friends and learn the social skills they need to interact with their peers?
- What if your child began to enjoy school and you saw them developing strong self-esteem?
- Would you like to see your child begin to take ownership of their school responsibilities and have the motivation to do their homework independently?
- What would it feel like to have your IEP team respect you because they realize you are a parent who knows how to implement your parent rights as mandated by IDEA?
It is your time to become a successful advocate for your child.
Don’t waste another day feeling frustrated by the system.
Learn how you can take action in your child’s education, defining the outcomes your family deserves.
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The Ultimate IEP
PARENT EMPOWERMENT VIRTUAL PROGRAM
Be a powerful parent advocate to get the IEP your child needs to thrive!
What if you could be awarded the special education program you want for your child and have the skills to sustain it until your child leaves high school?
Informed Empowered Parent Brigade
Learn the secrets of a professional advocate!
The Informed Empowered Parent Brigade is a group of “go get 'em” parents who are on a mission to learn how to successfully advocate for their child.
Valerie Aprahamian, The IEP Navigator
Founder, Executive Director, Author, and Non-Attorney Advocate
Valerie Aprahamian is a special education advocate, coach and mentor, author, speaker, teacher, and Founder of Advocates For Angels, who protects the rights of parents of neurodiverse children in the development of their child’s Individual Education Program (IEP).
As a mother of a daughter on the autism spectrum, Valerie has walked the same path as her clients and understands the challenges they experience.
Over the past 22 years while attending close to 4,000 IEP meetings, Valerie has mastered the skills necessary to hold school districts accountable to ensure her clients leave high school with the skills necessary to live an independent, productive and purposeful life.
Today, she runs a virtual parent training academy, dedicated to empowering parents to successfully advocate and receive the IEP their child needs to thrive. Valerie’s innovative e-learning programs help parents become more knowledgeable, confident and effective advocates in order to create powerful shifts in the special education system.
News from our Blog:
They told me my youngest daughter, Chanel, would never speak, write, or read, then suddenly, I lost my eldest daughter. I could have crumbled but instead, I made it my mission to build an advocacy consulting agency and started a revolution that gives parents the weapons to fight for their children. I’m so excited to be featured in the “Big Grit” docuseries telling inspirational stories about passionate, persistent entrepreneurs who won’t...
Listen to Lisa Sasevich and Valerie Aprahamian chat about Valerie's Journey and how she knew her daughter was meant for more! "Ever notice that many of our biggest gifts come wrapped in very unattractive packages? Or they show up in our life feeling like a punch in the gut versus a gift? Sometimes it takes time for things to unfold and to see the blessing that was hiding in the school of hard knocks. This was certainly the case for...
Before I met Valerie, I thought my daughter was doing fine because I was not informed. The teacher seemed competent and my daughter seemed happy and I thought I was on the right path. I attended one of Valerie’s online special education webinars and it stirred my concerns… (read more)
It was during the very first meeting at the district office for preschool placement when I realized that this was not going to be a smooth ride. Even without prior knowledge of how special education works, I knew I wanted goals to be set high for my daughter, but instead, the District staff insisted… (read more)