Advocates for Angels
Advocates for Angels provide experienced advocates/consultants to work with families to ensure their child receives an appropriate education to meet their unique needs in the least restrictive environment. Valerie Aprahamian and associates attend IEP, 504 and SST meetings, conflict resolution and mediation, participate in team meetings and case conferences, conduct classroom and DIS observations, and work with families navigating compliance procedures. Advocates for Angels focuses on ensuring that children with IEP’s receive an inclusive education with emphasis on a transition plan that will prepare them for an independent future.
The Rights of Children with Special Needs
In 1975, Congress enacted legislation to protect the educational rights of children who are disabled. These laws were created to ensure that children with special educational needs are identified as early as possible and receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).
The greatest challenge to parents and educators can be properly identifying special needs children. The behavior exhibited by special needs children can be misinterpreted and considered as defiance, lack of motivation and/or laziness. That misidentification can lead to punishment, instead of an appropriate education.
Valerie Aprahamian has been helping parents for 18 years to obtain the services and programs their child is legally entitled to receive. We have extensive experience advocating special needs programs and teaching parents how to navigate the IEP process. Valerie Aprahamian is a mother of 2 special needs children, both have received Special Education and Regional Center Services. This gives Valerie Aprahamian and Advocates for Angels a unique understanding of the issues and challenges parents may be facing in meeting the needs of their special needs child.
Whether your child is experiencing learning difficulties, lack of attention, developmental disabilities such as autism, speech and language issues, depression, anxiety, bulling or struggling at school, contact Advocates for Angels so we can discuss your circumstances, explain your rights and set you and your family in the right direction.
The advocates at Advocates for Angels are committed to providing meaningful advocacy advice to our clients and consider every child’s case to be unique. Special education law is complex; you may have many more questions that have not been addressed here. Please contact Valerie Aprahamian at (909) 841-2600 to discuss your child’s specific case. We are devoted to helping parents and guardians with the legal issues surrounding their special needs child.
The services offered for Special Education by Advocates for Angels are:
- Individual Education Program Development
- Continuum of Placement Options in Least Restrictive Environment
- Designated Instructional Services/Related Services
- Assessments and Independent Educational Evaluations
- Development of appropriate, measurable and specific goals
- Accommodations and Modifications
- Behavior Intervention
- Manifestation Determination
- Signing the IEP
- Dispute Resolution and Settlement Agreement
- Compliance Complaints
- Legal Overview Consultation
- Special Education Law Parent Training
Children with an IEP are members of the general school population and it is their civil right to be educated alongside their typical developing peers. These children deserve an appropriate education based on their individual strengths and areas of need. Parents and school districts must work together as equal members of the IEP team to provide what the child needs, and what State and Federal regulations require. To provide anything less would be an injustice.
- To promote that all children can learn together
- To promote acceptance of diversity and community awareness
- To promote parent training in the development of an Individualized Educational Program for their child
- To promote placement of children on IEP’s in the Least Restrictive Environment
- To promote a collaborative, respectful and student centered IEP team
by Valerie Aprahamian
This is the story of every parent of a special needs child and the challenges they encounter in caring for their child. Parents will inevitably realize that the “system” has failed to meet the needs of their child and will then ask the question: “Why do the agencies that are here to help our children always end up denying them the services they so desperately need?” Valerie passionately shares her story of how she went from a mother of a newly diagnosed daughter with autism to becoming a non-attorney advocate who has successfully assisted hundreds of families across Southern California through teaching, speaking and providing legal services through her business, Advocates For Angels. This book will assist every parent to become a better advocate for their special needs child.
Heaped on top of the challenge of learning to navigate the politics of a bureaucratic system, parents must also process the five stages of grief: denial, negotiation, anger, bargaining and, finally, acceptance. Valerie creatively applied the five steps of grief in coordination with her personal story, which she shares throughout her book’s five chapters.
As in all transformative journeys, there lies a component of death and letting go in order to create space for the rebirth of a new reality. Valerie painfully experienced this through the passing of her beautiful first daughter, Jessica, who served as a powerful, bittersweet catalyst on Valerie’s quest to find the self-love and liberation she needed after letting go of the restricting religious beliefs she learned as a child.
The underlying message of love and inclusion that flows throughout Advocating for Your Angel is based on Valerie’s second daughter, Chanel, who received the diagnosis of Autism at age of 3. Valerie soon realized how Chanel’s presence and purpose for being here would make a powerful impact on her own life. She also realized it would create change in her local school district, as well as within her social spheres, which included family, friends and community.
In each chapter, Valerie gives you invaluable information (highlighted in grey) about how to develop your child’s IEP and understand the politics of your local school district. She shares her most important tips about the pitfalls every parent experiences and how to overcome the bureaucratic “double-talk” meant to delay and deny your child services. Nestled within her story, she shares powerful exercises for you to follow that will help you process the emotions of the grief cycle. Ultimately, this process can bring you from pain to purpose.
Valerie invites you to consider the big picture regarding these special angels, which poses the question: “What if the ultimate reason why so many special needs children are coming into our world today is to teach us unconditional love?” As you move through each chapter you will feel a deep connection to Valerie’s story as you find the similarities in your own life while being guided toward the amazing world of acceptance where peace and freedom live.