We began our journey together, as a couple. Our son, Raymond, initiated our work in special education advocacy. He is autistic and has PANS/PANDAS. He has been on some sort of plan since he was 2 1/2 years old in early childhood intervention. We learned quickly that the IEP system is not an even handed way of providing services. We also learned that often schools are more concerned with their resource allocation than providing appropriate services to children with disabilities. After having success with our son, friends began asking us for assistance at their IEP meetings. Ray obliged them, and an advocate was born!
We also started a play group for kids with autism with some other parents, and we began hosting a monthly support group for parents. This led to 5 years of volunteering with the Autism Society of Northern Virginia, and eventually becoming the board president in 2014. Throughout this time we continued to advocate for other families free of charge as a way of giving back to the community that had helped us so much.
In 2016, my brilliant wife suggested we begin charging a small fee for advocacy in order to help more people. Ray started working by referral only in mid 2016 and received a steady stream of clients. In 2017 he attended the William and Mary School of Law's Institute for Special Education Advocacy. Additionally, in June 2019 Ray attended Catherine Whicher's Master IEP Coach class to hone his coaching skills.
In 2019 we also incorporated as a B-Corp. Our public benefit is in the hours we give to our community. We have an internal program that can help families access advocacy for a lower rate if they qualify for assistance. We can also suggest options to pay for advocacy as well. Contact us with any questions you have.
We believe in a collaborative team model when constructing a service plan, Individual Education Plan (IEP), 504 plan, or Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP.) Team collaboration is absolutely the best way to ensure your child receives a quality education through the public school system. Our goal is to put the parents in the drivers seat of the IEP team.
Sign up for a free 20 minute consultation!