Our Founder : The Short Version …
Recognized as one of the most insightful advocates working today, Larry has been helping parents across the country navigate the school system, negotiating IEP & 504 Plan intervention, and consulting in complex casework, including Gifted Education, since 1998. An “insiders perspective” as an experienced educator, behavior specialist, administrator, program coordinator, and teacher, in-depth experience serves as the foundation for this practice. The services provided are founded upon understanding and a collaborative framework rather than conflict and adversarial relations.
“Recognized as one of the most insightful advocates working today …”
Due to the complex nature of kids today, educational advocacy resources are now one of the primary tools informed-parents seek out within the special needs process. As a result, our practice has expanded across the country and has established partnership with a team of exceptional advocates supporting parents on this path. Also, Larry coaches and trains special education advocates so they can serve parents nationwide due to the never-ending need for advocacy for “no one should never go it alone!”
What makes Special Education Advocacy.Org one of the most sought-after consulting resources nationwide is due to four guiding principles:
- “Every child is a gift”; purpose, promise, and possibility guide our efforts; holding each child in the most positive perspective yields the greatest results: academic, social, emotional, and behavior.
- “Mutual understanding” provides the foundation toward collaboration between school and home; establishing common ground creates a partnership-relationship founded upon an evidence-based approach to decision making.
- “Strength based intervention” is the key to success; highlighted by “What already works?” as the fundamental guiding question.
- “Never go it alone”: There are times in one’s life when a professional point of view presents the most successful route taken; education advocacy is one of tho
Though anyone can learn the basic laws and rights & responsibilities fundamental to advocacy, however, insightful guidance, intuitive counseling, and collaborative negotiation are attributes unique to those who have walked the “insiders path”; our advocacy partners are all experienced educators, in addition to being highly skilled advocates.
The Longer Version:
Initially, Larry’s career started as an Elementary Teacher in 1980. By the time he was 30, he was one of the youngest principals in California and followed this passion for ten years. And loved every minute doing so. Then again, it was not an easy path supervising teachers who were old enough to be his parents, let alone being one of the youngest members of the staff. Something had to give for Larry was also wanting to be closer to home as his son began elementary school. What started out as a “calling”, eventually lead to a new passion, for Special Education became the next opportunity: As one door closes, another opens …
This lead to a new sense of passion and purpose within Special Education and Larry developed an advocacy / consultation practice in 1998. As an act of faith, the practice grew and now is considered one of the leading advocacy resources in the United States; in fact he supports education advocates across the country through coaching and mentoring and presents workshops at local and national conferences including Autism Society, National Elementary School Principals Association, and SENG (national organization supporting the Social Emotional Needs of Gifted Students).
What makes his background even more compelling and well rounded? Larry has also coordinated Gifted Education programs for neighboring school districts for many years and has served as a valuable resource for principals, teachers, and parents in this capacity; for “special needs” takes on a 360 degree perspective from Larry’s point of view! He also returned to the classroom for a brief period to revisit and experience the impact of Autism, ADHD, and Learning Disabilities within the classroom. He truly understands the challenges teachers and administrators experience due to the ever-evolving complexity today’s children present each day at school. Most recently, Larry took on a new challenge by serving as the district lead Behavior Specialist. By working with staff and parents within the most complex situations imaginable, this work provides an extraordinary opportunity to help create innovative systems and programs addressing our most challenging students and their needs. As a result, powerful new insights guide his work even more so than ever before.
Furthermore, in 2009, Larry was the recipient of the Puget Sound Super Hero Award presented by Parent Map Magazine due to his nationally recognized advocacy practice. Also, in 2014, West Sound Home and Garden identified Larry as “An Unsung Hero” within the Kitsap Community.
In addition, Larry is the author of special education theme books available on Amazon.com and presents workshops for parents and educators in support of these works:
- Love, Understanding, and Other Best Practices: The New School of Thought on IEP and 504 Plans
- The Insiders Guide to Special Education Advocacy: Taking Control of Your Child’s IEP or 504 Plan
As a compliment to the traditional education, training, and experience Larry has followed, he also is a member of the Institute of Heartmath community as a trainer. Inspired by heart-centered, emotionally balanced relationships, the science and research developed by the Institute of HeartMath presents an invaluable resource for parents and educators; an area of expertise Larry brings to the table. As our kids face sensory overload, anxiety, and emotional imbalance, the strategies and technologies of HeartMath compliment his work. Larry joined the Institute in April of 2011 and offers workshops and presentations in support of emotional wellness, resiliency, and related self-management strategies. Heartmath is globally well respected within education and business communities as one of the leading resources leading to individual and organizational wellness.
Finally, as the advocacy practice has expanded over the years, Larry has partnered with a number of very talented colleagues and professional advocates when he is unable to work directly with clients himself. This allows us to extend our mission and our services to more families throughout the country. Under the guiding principle, “No one should never go it alone”, our services bring expertise and peace of mind (heart) to your advocacy path. And you can be rest assured, you will be glad you made the connection! We are most appreciative of the opportunity to walk this path with you!