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DAS: Empowering Me to Become a Confident and Informed Advocate for My Son

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

My 13 yr old neurodivergent son struggles in school academically. Each year he has fallen more and more behind. Progress reports and grades always indicated that he was doing fine in school, but when I was home with him during Covid, helping him with his studies, it was apparent that he was not doing fine academically. In addition, behavioral obstacles that come with my son’s neurodivergence impact not only his ability to learn, but those of his peers in class I am sure.

I brought my concerns to the attention of his school, but was not taken seriously and dismissed. I was left scratching my head on what to do.

I found DAS (Disability Advocacy Services) through Google search and was offered a video consultation right away. After the consultation with Jamie and Pam, my husband and I looked at each other and knew we had made the right decision - a weight was lifted off of my shoulders in that moment.

As I worked with DAS over the coming weeks it became clear that my concerns were long overdue and completely validated. It is hard as a parent, especially if you are not trained in special education, to know what the schools’ responsibilities are when it comes to providing an education for your child. And when you do start digging into the world of IEPs, 504s, assessments and services you find out that it is a whole different language, I felt like I was in way over my head. This I feel, unfortunately, is why many neurodivergent students fall through the cracks and do not receive the education they are entitled to.

Jamie and Pam each have strengths in different areas and when they work together, which they do amazingly well, are a powerhouse of knowledge and dedication. Looking back, I know I would have been in great hands, with the same desirable outcome, if I had worked with only one of them.

Some of the attributes that impressed me and made the process go smooth: they responded to my emails quickly; complications that seemed so big to me were commonplace and easily handled for them; they explained things in a way that I could understand; they partnered with me, showing me the way, and before I knew it, I was the one taking the lead and advocating for my son -they were right there with me, and had my back; they are level-headed, with positive attitudes and communicated with my son’s school in a manner that was non-abrasive, respectful and beneficial for both parties; their calm but assertive, gentle but effective demeanors rubbed off on me, which has made me a fabulous advocate for my son. Thank you so, so much Pam and Jamie for your expertise and deep desire to help my son. I cannot thank you enough.

- Abbi Browning


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