IEP Coach + Postsecondary Transition Specialist
From one special needs parent to another – I’m here for you!
I’m passionate about helping special needs families and students live full, joyful, quality lives. I was born blind, and I have an autistic son, so I have valuable lived-experience that helps me empathize, understand your struggles, and build stronger relationships because I just get it.
When my son was diagnosed as autistic, the school and support systems around him immediately discounted his abilities and set an incredibly low bar for his achievement. We were told to start looking at group homes when he was in 5th grade! But I saw so much more potential in our son – so I advocated for him. I held our school accountable and ensured he received personalized education based on his unique learning needs. Today, my autistic son drives, lives independently, and has a meaningful job. None of that would have happened if I had just listened to the experts! But it wasn’t an easy path to get here – it required a lot of energy, networking, and advocating.
As a parent, you have the responsibility and capability to plan for your child’s future. Just like you, I want your child to be equipped and prepared for life after high school. I want your child (and you as parents!) to feel like you have permission to dream big, and to receive the support and strategies needed to explore your own hopes and dreams!
I know this journey is challenging. There are so many disappointments and frustrations, not to mention the bureaucracy and red-tape involved in learning to navigate the special education system. But I’m ultimately an optimist – because I’ve seen what is possible when you have the support, expertise, and strategies you need. I know that you can laugh, relax, and simply enjoy life with your child. All of that is possible! And that’s what I’m here to help you experience.
Training Contributor with N2Y
Chair – Iowa Department of Education Special Education Advisory Panel
Board Member – Autism Iowa Society
4+ years of Autism Awareness and Acceptance training for the Des Moines Police Academy
THE LEVEL OF QUALITY, PASSION, KNOWLEDGE, AND DEDICATION HAS BEEN AN UNPARALLELED EXPERIENCE.
“Lisa has been a major asset to our family and autistic son. She is an encouraging coach, strong advocate at IEP meetings, and informative guide for special needs parents like us. The level of quality, passion, knowledge, and dedication she displays has been an unparalleled experience from anything we’ve ever received from other providers.”
–Bill, special needs father
Our Guiding Principles
We’re standing up for special needs students to be loved and respected, regardless of their physical or mental abilities.
We’re granting permission for special needs students to dream big academically (and otherwise) and reach their full potential.
We’re raising the bar for special needs students to be included at school, in the community, and through meaningful employment.
When I’m Not Helping Special Needs Students + Parents, You’ll Find Me…
Traveling & Exploring
I practice what I preach! I was born blind, but I never let my disability stop me from dreaming big, exploring the world, and trying all kinds of adventurous activities!
Serving as Activities Director for a Community Serving Adults with Special Needs
I love volunteering here and helping instill hope, strengthen social skills and enable residents to have a sense of inclusion and belonging in their own community.
Enjoying Date Night with my Husband
Being a special needs parent is stressful. That’s why I’m a big believer in self-care! You can’t give 100% to your special needs child if you aren’t filling your own cup first.