There is more to what I do than just to talk to families teaching them about special education. Sure that is a huge part, but what sets me apart from other Advocates is my desire to connect. I don’t want to work with you and then never talk to you again. When you win, I win, when your kiddo accomplishes something, I want to hear about it. I run a group over on FB for parents of special needs kids and I LOVE hearing how all the kids are winning every week. (Want to join us? Click HERE!)And as much as I want your kids to be a part of my family, I want you all to feel connected to my wild and chaotic little crew. My dreams go beyond advocacy and that starts by connecting with each of you! Meet my family!
Mason is going to be 10 in just a few days. If you had told me 10 years ago, I was going to be this hippie dippy, essential oiling, breastfeeding, natural remedies mom… I wouldn’t have believed you. I never second guessed the doctor, I didn’t do a whole lot of research and I DEFINITELY wasn’t dabbling in cloth diapers. Nope. Not me. Things change. Kids change you. That change for me started when Mason was about 18 months. He just was different. He was always pretty rambunctious, but now he was impulsive and omigoodness the emotions. ALL. THE. EMOTIONS. It was like his emotional volume was turned up to loud, all the time.My mommy gut told me something wasn’t right and I began my fight for him to get all the help he deserved. Fast forward to today, Mason is this freaking smart, funny, loving and quirky almost 10 year old. All those emotions are still hanging around, only now we can identify and label them. It’s been a long road to this place. It’s been hard as hell. I’ve cried. He’s cried. I’ve sat through IEP meetings, and BIP meetings, visited every single doctor anyone ever recommended to us. We’ve done diet changes and supplements, gene and allergy testing. I’ve done enough research to write a book. I have fought teachers, therapists, administrators to make sure he gets EXACTLY the kind of support he deserves. Every single day is hard being this boys mommy, but its so worth it. We chose to hold off on diagnosis because I was hesitant to label something that I wasn’t sure about and didn’t want to put a name of something just so it had a name. So we waited until we were sure and until the label would benefit him. What I know now is that the label still doesn’t matter. My kid is still a number obsessed, soccer loving, world history repeating fact machine. He is super caring of other, though he struggles to accept others points of view. He is the BEST brother and will stop playing to give his sisters a few cuddles. Yes those are sandals in that picture… it was a battle I didn’t feel was worth the fight!
Scott and I met when Mason was 2 and I can honestly say he’s made me a better parent. He’s a little more hippie than me by nature and so when he made suggestions, I listened. Scott is like an onion. No, he doesn’t make me cry but he has a lot of layers. He doesn’t talk much so when he does, it’s important. He came into mine and Masons messy life and stuck around. He stepped in and stepped up as a dad and partner. At the time I couldn’t for the life of me understand why he didn’t go running away. I think I would have and I’m so glad he didn’t. He’s this super dad who is involved in everything despite working 2 jobs. My kids adore him because he is always doing something for them. We finish each others sentences. And not in that cheesy, make you want to vomit way. We are so similar sometimes, its weird. I literally cannot imagine my life working out any other way. All the awful things that have happened along the road to finding each other were worth every single tear. Without a doubt, we were meant for each other. When it came time for me to start this journey he was nothing but supportive. He tells me all the time how great he thinks I am at this and it encourages me to keep pushing forward even when I’m failing at all the technology stuff! Technology is NOT my thing!
By the time JD, my 5 year old was born I was ready to question everything right along side my crazy husband. JD is where my adventure in oils started. JD had awful seasonal allergies and I hated the idea of using medication on him. I started using a seasonal relief roller on him and the rest is history. JD is such a happy kid. He’s full of emotions too, but most of the time he’s smiling. He loves being social and is super easy going. We call him buddy the elf because everything is like Christmas morning for him!
Colbie is my 3.5 year old ball of sass. This demanding and independent little boss lady made me sure I was DONE having kids. I’m saying it now, one day this girl will run the world. She loves babies and all things girl, but is also my toughest little cookie and will put her brothers in check anytime she sees fit. You’ll probably hear me refer to her by her nickname, Coco. She is so sweet and eager to please but I’m not kidding when I say she’s the boss lady. She loves all things girly, but is absolutely a daddy’s girl and will tell you about it anytime you dare tell her she is your best friend. She’s not your best friend, she’s daddy’s.
Lastly, my pretty Paisley is almost 2 years old now! Our last and littlest surprise is patient and laid back, happy most of the time. She’s my little mischief maker and goes non stop. She is always trying to make someone laugh and loves to cuddle with Mason. Her favorite past time is playing outside when she isn’t making her big sister scream… like I said MISCHIEF! She’s super goofy and obsessed with her daddy, whom by the way is my most favorite person in the world too so I can’t blame her.
We live in a small town far west of Chicago with our old man dog, Shaymus and our newest addition, a puppy named Shelby. Our days are loud, busy, always messy, full of sarcasm and chaos. I’m far from perfect but what you’ll find here is that underneath this hot mess, is a mom trying to do better for my family and yours. My goal is to help parents of special needs kids feel empowered and educated so that they can walk into an IEP meeting understanding what is being offered and be able to provide their valuable opinion.
After over 10 years advocating for my son and working in education, I decided to alter direction. Now, I share my passion by helping educate other parents. No parent should sit in an IEP meeting and feel unsure of what is being decided for their child or agree to something just because it sounds ok! I help bridge the gap to create a more cohesive IEP team and a better outcome for your child.
Who is Nicole?
Nicole is a Master IEP Coach and Advocate. She is also an Autism, ADHD and Anxiety mom of 4. After over 10 years advocating for her son and working in education, she decided to alter direction. Now, she shares her passion by helping educate other special needs parents. By simplifying the IEP process for both staff and parents, teams see desired outcomes faster than ever thought possible, without a fight. I like to explain it that my job is a proactive approach. I try to step in before things get difficult to dig into the IEP, any testing done, accommodations and modifications to make sure you are getting everything you want and your child needs. In the consultation we discuss what your goals or concerns are for your child and then I take a look at the IEP to make suggestions or recommendations based on what you need.
Happy to help.
Need extra help? There are a few ways we can work together.
1. Click HERE and lets set up a 1:1 consultation. This FREE service that I offer is a great way to identify what your goals are for your child and how we can fit them into your IEP.
- Click HEREand let me know you are IN! As a Master IEP Coach and Advocate, I am trained to evaluate your current IEP and make suggestions on how we can IMPROVE in order to help your child meet their potential.