Founder, Executive Director, Author, and Non-Attorney Advocate
Helping You become an Advocate for your Special Needs Child
Are you ready to become an advocate for your special needs child?
Get inspired and empowered to roll up your sleeves and advocate for your angel. This is the book for you!
Pick up your book on Amazon today, and when you are finished reading it, don’t forget to leave a review!
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.
Children with an IEP are members of the general school population and it is their civil right to be educated alongside their typical developing peers. These children deserve an appropriate education based on their individual strengths and areas of need. Parents and school districts must work together as equal members of the IEP team to provide what the child needs, and what State and Federal regulations require. To provide anything less would be an injustice.
- To promote that all children can learn together
- To promote acceptance of diversity and community awareness
- To promote parent training in the development of an Individualized Educational Program for their child
- To promote placement of children on IEP’s in the Least Restrictive Environment
- To promote a collaborative, respectful and student centered IEP team
Benefits of Inclusive Education
Valerie immediately knew that she didn’t want Chanel to be placed in a segregated severely handicapped class and she learned how to successfully advocate for Chanel to be placed in an inclusive educational program.
Chanel was the first student with the diagnosis of autism to be fully included in a general education class in her local school district. This was quite an accomplishment when you consider the fact that this was the mid-90s, and school districts had not yet figured out how to include students on the spectrum in the general education classroom!
Soon after, it became Valerie’s passion, purpose and blessing to advocate for other parents and teach them how to protect the educational rights of their child. Fourteen years later, Valerie was successful in proving the team of pediatric neurologists wrong when Chanel graduated high school with honors!
Since then, Chanel has surpassed every low expectation and bleak prediction regarding her future. After high school, Chanel became a California credentialed dog groomer and worked for 2 years at the Doggie Spa in her hometown. Today, Chanel works at the San Diego Humane Society, “saving all the dogs in the world,” (Chanel’s lifelong dream.)
For the past 22 years Valerie has dedicated her life’s work to empowering parents to advocate for their child by attending close to 4,000 IEP meetings to ensure an education that will prepare them for an independent, purposeful, and productive life after high school.
Inclusive education gives neurodiverse children the right to have an equal opportunity to full participation in school and provide an education that prepares them for independent living and economic self-sufficiency after high school.
Our children should not have to be placed in a special education classroom to receive the special education supports and services listed in the IEP. This is LRE (Least Restrictive Environment).
IDEA mandates neurodiverse children be granted high expectations to ensure access to the general education curriculum in the regular classroom, to the maximum extent possible.
However, school districts across the nation continue to deny inclusion by holding low expectations and an insufficient focus on applying best practices for inclusive education in proven methods of teaching for students on IEPs.
If Valerie had not learned how to implement her parent rights to advocate for Chanel to receive an inclusive special education program, she would have been placed in a severely handicapped class and been denied the opportunity to receive her diploma. And she would not have learned the skills she needed to obtain the job she dreamed about since she was a child.
ALL Students on IEPs deserve a chance to reach their potential in life just like any other child. Don’t let the broken education system or medical professionals steal your dreams for your child’s future. They deserve an education that allows them to thrive!
Are you experiencing these kinds of challenges with your special needs child?
Is your local school district violating your child’s IEP but you don’t know how to enforce your parent rights?
Any parent can learn to successfully advocate for their child.
Would you like to avoid feeling guilty because you didn’t take action sooner?
Parents, YOU have all the power endowed to you under IDEA!
Let Valerie help you learn what the school districts don’t want you to know. The decision you make today will determine whether or not your child will receive an appropriate education and reach their potential in their lives!