My Background

I have worked with families and students on the South Shore needing a range of supports and services from a single mom who’s only child was just entering kindergarten to parents struggling to keep their eighteen year old son out of trouble and in school.  My families have sought out-of-district placements, better supports in the classroom and often, just reassurance that they were on the right track and doing all they could to help their child be successful in school.

In addition, I have worked in a variety of capacities with students and parents in the special needs and adoption communities. These include positions as Executive Director of ASAP (Adoption & Foster Care School Awareness Project), a nonprofit agency serving the South Shore through distribution of information on adoption and education resources; Resource Liaison for the Pembroke SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Counsel) and as an English Language Arts tutor for students with special needs grades 3 through 8. I have taught High School English and Drama in California and worked as a Special Education School Community Coordinator teaching secondary students employment skills and providing on-the-job training.

It is as a parent working directly with the schools to ensure that my own daughter receives the education she deserves and is entitled to, that I have received my most extensive experience and training. Joining our family at 2 1/2 after first living in a Russian orphanage, she has brought us great joy as well as many challenges. With multiple psychological and developmental diagnoses, she has overcome increasingly complex obstacles to her educational success. Learning to understand her needs and fight for her rights has been at times overwhelming; but, always rewarding.

I am pleased to be able to offer this diverse, professional as well as personal experience, including the training listed below to help you in your efforts to promote your child’s educational success.

Professional Training

Parent Consultant Training Institute, Federation for Children with Special Needs, Boston, MA

Wrightslaw Special Education and Advocacy Conference.  Peter Wright.

Exploring Mile-High Possibilities for Attachment.  29th Annual ATTACh Conference, Denver, Colorado.  Pat Ogden, Terry Levy, JoAnn Kennedy, Sheila Frick, Peter Levine, Art Becker-Weidman, Scott Kuenneke, Jeanna Osborn, Steve Graner, Jessica Pfeiffer.

Trauma Informed Care:  Gateway to the Higher Brain.  28th Annual ATTACh Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.  Sheila Frick, Niki Gomez-Perales, Johnathan Baylin, Daniel Hill, Phyllis Rubin, Art Becker-Weidman and Steve Sawyer.

Youth Mental Health First Aid USA, Certification.  National Council for Behavioral Health.

An Evening with Heather Forbes:  The Trauma-Sensitive Classroom

Visions of Community 2016.  Federation for Children with Special Needs. “Transition:Beyond the 4 Walls of a Classroom” Westfield Public Schools, “Special Education Law- The Year in Review” Daniel Heffernan, and “Trauma Assessments and Trauma-Informed Programming in the School Setting” Jennifer DelRey.

Implementing Social and Emotional Learning Guidelines. Special Needs Advocacy Network.  Anne L. Gilligan and Scott McLeod.

Trauma-Informed Treatment:  The Intersection of Attachment, Science and Hope, 26th Annual ATTACh Conference, Orlando, FL, Micael Trout, Mary Koloroutis, Ruth Newton, Karen Treisman, Michelle Robinon, and Steve Sawyer

The Roots of Relationships: Understanding the Development and Power of Connection, 25th Annual ATTACh Conference, San Antonio, TX, Pat Ogden, Kim Golding, Arthur Becker Weidman, Terry Levy and Michael Orlans

Trauma Sensitive Schools Workshop Series, Pembroke Public Schools

Healing Broken Bonds:  Traumatic Attachment and Affect Dysregulation.  Center for Integrative Healing.  Janina Fisher

The Bridge to Home: Teachers & Parents Together Educating the Traumatized Child, Barbara Braun-McDonald

Children’s Challenging Behavior.  National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Plymouth.

Hope for Healing: The Neurological Connection, 21st Annual ATTACh Conference, San Antonio, TX, Gregory Keck, Ira Chasnoff, Bruce Perry and Sebern Fisher.

Promoting Success at Home and at School for Children with a History of Adoption: One Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician’s Perspective, Dr. Lisa Albers Prock, Children’s Hospital, Boston

Adoption & Education: A Workshop for Parents and Professionals, Dr. Boris Gindis, BG Center School and Center for Cognitive Development Assessment and Remediation and Dr. Anait Azarian

Change Your Mind: How to Better Understand the Learning Styles and Issues of Adopted Children, Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao, Founder and CEO of the Center For Family Connections (CFFC), Cambridge, MA and lecturer in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

Attachment in an Unattached World Creating Caring Connections 19h Annual International Conference on Attachment & Bonding, Association for Treatment & Training in the Attachment of Children (ATTACh), Providence, RI

Trauma, Attachment and the Body, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Medical Director and Founder of the Trauma Center, a program of Justice Resource Institute, Brookline, MA

Anxiety, Depression and Mental Health Issues for Middle and High School Age StudentsPaul D’Espinosa, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, MED, Plymouth Dept. of Mental Health & Loretta Lyonnais, MED, Certified Mediator, Plymouth Dept. of Mental Health

Educational Surrogate Parent Program Training, DOE and DSS

Strategies and Interventions: Attachment, Trauma, and Childhood Development: General Principes for Parenting Children with Problems Secondary to Trauma and Attachment Disorganization Daniel Hughes, Dyadic Developmental Psyhotherapist, Sponsored by The Attachment Institute of New England & National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts Central Regional Coucil

Planning For The Future of Your Child or Dependent with Special Needs Jack Raycroft, MetDESK Specialist and Attorney David Burbridge, Dalton & Finegold, LLP

How Early Trauma Impacts Learning Peg Kirby, PsyD, Attachment Institute of New England, MA

Reducing Trauma as a Barrier to Learning State Conference Mass Department of Education

Focus on Education & Development:  The Future for International Adoptees.  Lisa Albers Prock, Boris Gindis, Laurie C. Miller, Peg Kirby, Debbie Riley and Joan Clark.

Attachment, Trauma, and Childhood Development Strategies & Interventions. Daniel A. Hughes.

Related Experience

2016 – 2017 Parent Transition Committee.  Latham Centers, Inc.  Brewster, MA

2015 – 2017  Parent Advisory Committee.  Latham Centers, Inc.  Brewster, MA

2016 Transition Support with Kathleen Dunn, Department of Developmental Services, Plymouth

2015  An Evening with Heather Forbes:  Manipulation Madness

2013 – 2015 Accessibility & Inclusion Ministry Chair, Unitarian Universalist, First Parish, Kingston, MA

2009 – 2015 Faith in Action Ministry Chair Unitarian Universalist, First Parish, Kingston MA

2006 – 2012 Executive Director ASAP (Adoption & Foster Care School Awareness Project)

2010 – 2012 English Language Arts Tutor Club Z In Home Tutoring, Plymouth, MA; Kingston, MA and private tutoring clients on the South Shore

2009 – 2012 Program Developer and Multicultural Educator, Culture Club, Pembroke, MA

2004 – 2009 Resource Liaison Pembroke SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Counsel) and private tutoring clients on the South Shore