I have dedicated my career toward helping people with special needs live a meaningful life. I have worked in the special needs community since 1988. I completed my education at the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Education, Master’s in Special Education, and regular and special education teaching credentials. I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
I began working as a special education teacher in a 6-8th grade self contained classroom and evaluator for two to three-year-old special needs students in the Los Angeles Unified School District where I gained invaluable experience. Later, in private schools, I provided inclusion services for students K–12 facilitating their integration into the Least Restrictive Environment where I learned the value of inclusion in the community for people with special needs. I managed a program for high school students with moderate to severe disabilities and developed and managed an independent living co-op for young adults that supported community integration.
I left the school system and developed and managed Regional Center and Department of Rehabilitation programs that support adults with special needs.
These programs promoted services for adults with special needs to live and work in their communities with a focus on Self-Determination and Person Centered Planning.
Through my diverse experiences, I have learned that every family has a different path and needs to access different services and varied support at each stage. During the secondary transition, this is even more true.
Furthermore, to reduce isolation and ensure a meaningful and productive life, it is essential that individuals are integrated into their community. My experiences and education have prepared me to support families through secondary transition.