My name is Diana Loiewski and I have been a special education teacher for over thirty years. I’m currently teaching at the high school level and I also provide free IEP consultation work to parents and organizations. My goal is to help IEP teams communicate openly and honestly. This includes educating parents on special education laws, IEP vocabulary and acronyms, IEP paperwork and how to participate actively in the IEP process. I have also completed workbooks: Individual Education Plan Workbook for Success and Healthy Relationships which is a multimedia interactive workbook that teaches special needs students how to navigate social nuances and create friendships while at the same time make their safety a priority. Both workbooks are available on this site under the product tab and also at htpp://talkcounts.com
Hello, my name is Elizabeth Dominick. For the purposes of this website, I’ll be using this pseudonym, which is not my real name, of course. I am the parent of a child with multiple special needs. My son, John (also not his real name), has requested that my participation on this site be anonymous so that he might still have some measure of privacy in his life. I’ve agreed to that stipulation because I think he deserves his privacy just like the rest of us. A speech therapist identified John as language delayed at about 3 years old; he entered the public school special education system at 4. While John has typical intelligence, he has been challenged by a host of medical conditions and other learning differences/disabilities. Over the years, he has had a mix of public school gen ed classes, special education classes and alternative educational settings. Today, John is almost 16 years old. For me, the past 13 years or so have been a long odyssey of IEP meetings, therapists, doctors, diagnoses (that came and went and, surprisingly, changed over the years), tutors, advocates, attorneys, private schools, more public education, confusion, anger, frustration and finally a measure of hope. This journey hasn’t been easy, and it’s not over yet. My background is in news writing and public relations. I have a special interest in writing meditations for parents of special needs children. If you are the parent of a special needs child, then I hope the short vignettes (on the meditations page) give you some measure of comfort. Diana will also write meditations and words of comfort and hope. Please let us know what you think by posting a comment. I’ll also be contributing to the overall site by sharing my past and current experience with teachers, IEP teams, the law, etc. I look forward to hearing from you.