Our Founder : The Short Version …
Simply, I am here to help you! I have been helping parents across the country, like you, navigate the school system, negotiating IEP & 504 Plan intervention, and consulting in complex casework, including behavior and Gifted Education, since 1998. Due to the “insiders perspective” as an experienced educator; special education director, behavior specialist, school administrator, gifted coordinator, and K-8 teacher, I have walked in the very same shoes as most of the team members across the table. As a result, the advocacy services provided are founded upon a deep understanding of the processes, behavior, child development, instruction, and ideally, a collaborative framework rather than conflict and adversarial relations. After doing this work for over 24 years, I have learned it’s best to navigate this path with as little residue as possible and do everything to support you through partnership.
Recognized as one of the leading Special Education
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, we have been working with families across the country. Also, I recently served as a District Special Education Director, Behavior Specialist and Social Emotional Learning Trainer; so I bring to the conversation insights and expertise way beyond IEP and 504 paperwork; it reaches into the classroom and creates supports for children and teachers. As a result, I also coach and train 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 those moments.
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”; this practice is founded upon this understanding.
LISTEN IN: Hear Larry on Parent Footprints …
Recent Webinar with Dr Dan Peters: Parent Footprints
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 Behavior Specialist then Special Education Director. 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 advocacy 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