Special Education Consultant
Melissa is a Texas native, originally from the Houston area. She moved to Austin to study at the University of Texas at Austin and to enjoy the eclectic urban culture. She completed her undergraduate degree at UT Austin and her Master’s degree in Special Education at Texas Tech University. Melissa also obtained an educational diagnostician certification at Texas Tech.
Originally on a path to law school, Melissa instead pursued her passion for educational equity through work in the public school system. She has since taught, coached educators, developed educational programming, overseen the foundation of a district life skills program, and worked for education reform at charter schools.
Melissa has a strong passion for special education, specifically working with families and schools to create inclusive, holistic, and rigorous experiences for all learners. Having navigated many school cultures and arrays of resources, Melissa feels strongly that the parent and school can share an empowered partnership that promotes student success. She also believes that children with learning differences should be knowledgeable about their needs and learning styles, so that they can be their own best advocates!
Here's How Melissa Can Help
Why may a family seek guidance from you?
Navigating the world of disability services within public schools or seeking private therapies and treatment can be overwhelming. There is a sea of acronyms, emotions to reconcile, and some perceived (and real) barriers to initiating services. All of these factors combined can make initiating or changing your child's service or care plan difficult. It can be helpful to have an objective and experienced consultant such as myself to provide not only a big-picture perspective, but also help to dive into the details of documents such as evaluations, IEPs/504 Plans, progress reports, etc.
What benefits can you provide to families?
- Understanding special education and Section 504 law, including their rights as parents of a child with a disability or disabilities.
- Provide tips on partnering with service providers to ensure the integrity of a holistic service plan.
- Offer emotional support and perspective on receiving a diagnosis, entering into or improving their experience within the special education and Section 504 processes, and evaluating long-term progress. This may include navigating the initial diagnosis and service initiating process, attending and/or planning meetings as an advocate.
- Coaching on forging a sincere partnership with their child's service providers, and/or improving adversarial or difficult relationships with providers.
- Service 1: “My child received a diagnosis… Now what?”
- Service 2: “I suspect my child may have a developmental or learning difference. Where do I start?”
- Service 3: Navigating the IEP Process
- Service 4: Disability Awareness & Education
- Service 5: Special Education Tutoring
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