Hey! I'm Jessica!

A neurodivergent mom of two neurodivergent kids and a special education parent advocate.

I knew from an early age that I learned differently than my peers. Often, it took me longer to understand a concept, yet when I did, I could use it most creatively. Because of this, I have been the go-to gal for my friends to find solutions to their problems.

Before having my own children, I had no clue what special education was. Finding my advocacy voice was necessary, even more so as I received a later-in-life diagnosis.

Our journey in special education and life has been complex. It had some highs and many lows, yet, we keep pushing to perfect all of our advocacy voices.

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Discovering Your Advocacy Voice!

The sight of teachers, specialists, and administrators surrounding a large oval table will forever be ingrained in my mind.

As I walked into the room, it was silent, and all eyes were focused on me as I sat at the head of the table. We then read through the IEP draft, taking one section of the IEP at a time to allow each attendee to share details from their expertise.

After they finished, I was invited to share my input. My brain was mush as I tried to quickly process all the information in front of me and form a coherent sentence.

Instead, I nodded a quick "yes" of approval, signed the IEP, and left as quickly as possible. Once at my car, a pit formed in my stomach, overwhelming nausea, and tears began streaming down my face.

As the first grading period of Kindergarten approached, progress was being made very slowly. We were consistently told to "wait and see" and "just trust us" despite threatening suspension.

After this experience, I became more motivated to learn about the IEP process and our parental rights. As I gained more knowledge, I realized I could use it to help other parents facing similar obstacles with their child's school.

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