Apr 29, 2020
Every child has the potential to live a fulfilling life IF they get the education they deserve. But for the 7M students in the special ed system, access to that education is not a given. So, what can the parents of neurodiverse kids do to advocate for their children?
Valerie Aprahamian is the special education advocate and coach behind Advocates for Angels, an organization devoted to protecting the rights of parents of neurodiverse children in the development of their child’s Individual Education Program, or IEP. In the last 22 years, Valerie has attended 4K-plus IEP meetings and mastered the skills necessary to ensure that the students she represents leave high school with the skills necessary to lead a purposeful life. Valerie has also built a virtual parent training program that empowers parents to become effective advocates for their children and create powerful shifts in the special education system.
On this episode of Wickedly Smart Women, Valerie joins Emerald to share the story of her daughter Chanel’s autism diagnosis, explaining why she advocated for her daughter to be placed in a general education class and how Chanel proved the experts wrong by graduating with honors. Valerie discusses why it’s crucial for parents to know their rights around the IEP process, describing how her virtual training academy helps moms and dads secure what their child needs to be successful. Listen in for Valerie’s advice to parents struggling with the special ed system and learn what YOU can do to help neurodiverse kids get the education they deserve!
How Valerie’s daughter’s autism diagnosis inspired her current work
Why Valerie advocated for her daughter to be placed in a general education class
How Valerie’s daughter proved the experts wrong by graduating with honors
Why it’s crucial for parents to know their rights around the IEP process
What compelled Valerie to create her virtual parent training academy
What happens to neurodiverse kids who don’t get the education they deserve
The energetic spiritual connection Valerie feels with neurodiverse kids
The challenge Valerie faces in wanting to help every mom that calls her
Valerie’s advice for parents who are struggling with the special ed system
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