Welcome to the CAA Blog, written by the special education advocates of Collaborative Advocacy Associates (CAA), a group of professionals based in Fairfield County, CT. Having just celebrated our tenth anniversary of providing support to families of children with special learning needs, we have made it our mission to help families ensure that their children are being provided with an educational program that is not just appropriate, but that truly meets his or her individualized needs.
In support of that mission, we will periodically comment on some of the many topics associated with the world of special education in hopes of providing you with valuable insights and knowledge you can use in your efforts on behalf of your special needs child.
Whether it be updates on changes to special education laws and regulations; tips for ensuring your child’s program is being implemented properly; or answers to some of the most commonly asked questions from the nearly 2,000 families we have had the privilege to serve, our goal is to make this a resource for you in support of your special child.
When I set out on this journey more than ten years ago, I was probably just like you: a parent trying to get my child the help he needed to be successful in school. Even though I had been working in the field of disabilities for my entire professional career, discovering what it took to make the educational system work so that my son could get the help he needed was truly an eye-opener !
It may not have been designed that way, but the special education system is a maze that most people need help navigating. Once I learned enough to help my son, I discovered
just how great and growing the need was among others facing similar challenges with their own children, and how much they needed the knowledge and experience I had developed.
Seeing the opportunity to be of real service to families with children who have learning needs, I decided to become a special education advocate. I read all the major books on special education and advocacy, took every formal advocacy training course available, and sought additional knowledge from numerous experts in the field. Along the way, I have accompanied parents to many thousands of PPTs, team meetings and mediations.
Today, this work has truly become my passion! I cannot tell you how satisfying it is to know that we can have an impact in the life of a child with special needs. And in numerous cases, helping those children get the support they need, has helped entire families better manage life with a child with a disability.
As my colleagues and I enter our second decade, we are more energized than ever about helping many more thousands of children and families. May God Bless and protect all children, especially those with special needs.
– Noreen J. O’Mahoney, C.S.W., S.D.A. , President, CAA