Former Public School Administrator for Special Education Joins CAA as a Special Education Advocate

Collaborative Advocacy™ Associates (CAA), a group of professionals providing Connecticut families with educational advocacy services in support of children with special learning needs, announces that Allene Nicolari, MS, a former school administrator for special education, has joined the firm as a special education advocate.

In this role, Ms. Nicolari will help parents of children diagnosed with a wide range of special learning needs to work with their school districts to ensure that appropriate educational and support services are in place to meet their particular special needs, such as: autism spectrum disorders; learning, speech and language, and developmental disabilities; ADD/ADHD; and emotional challenges, such as school phobia and anxiety, and with managing transitions at all stages of a child’s educational career.

Ms. Nicolari comes to CAA with over 35 years’ experience serving the needs of this vulnerable population as a special education teacher and school administrator.

“Joining CAA is a natural progression for me,” Nicolari stated. “The firm’s commitment to help children with special learning needs gain access to educational opportunities dovetails with my lifelong commitment to this population. My background and experiences in special education practices and procedures will serve to benefit the families I work with. I am thrilled to join such a respected team of individuals.”

Noreen J. O’Mahoney, C.S.W., S.D.A., founder and director of CAA, said: “In the more than 10 years since our founding, we have seen the population of families with children who have special needs continue to grow exponentially. We’ve also seen first-hand that both parents and school districts need help determining how to effectively serve these youngsters so that they receive the education they deserve. Allene’s knowledge and understanding of the special education system and how to get things done within it will prove invaluable in helping families work more successfully with their school districts.”

Most recently, Ms. Nicolari served as Coordinator of Special Education for Guilford, CT Public Schools for the pre-school and elementary levels, after having served ten years collectively as the Coordinator of Special Education for Guilford High School and Guilford middle schools, following many years as a special education teacher at the middle school level.

Over the years, she has been involved in the development, implementation and administration of all aspects of Guilford’s special education programs. In her most recent role, she was instrumental in developing Guilford’s program for serving children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her administrative responsibilities extended from pre-school through high school and transition into adult life thus encompassing the entire educational experience for the child. Ms. Nicolari also was very involved with community life through her participation on the Board of Directors for SARAH and Guilford Youth and Family Services.

Ms. Nicolari graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education and Psychology, and earned her Master’s degree in Special Education and Learning Disabilities from Southern Connecticut State University. She has also completed the advanced certification program in Educational Leadership and Supervision, and Special Education Consultation, from Southern Connecticut State University.

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