Since entering private practice in 1980, Valerie Vanaman has become an acknowledged leader in providing representation for individuals challenged with disabilities and for their families, securing her clients’ educational rights. She served as a teaching fellow at Harvard Law School and is a member of numerous Bar associations, including the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, and several at the Federal District and State Court levels.
Author: Gilda Evans
Dr. Jennie Trocchio is an autism educator, advocate, and VP of Clinical Operations at Positive Development, which is a leading provider of developmental care for neurodiverse children and their families. We discuss the various therapies they provide and how families can access their services.
David Wildkress was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 6. He is a learning specialist who is passionate about supporting neurodivergent people and has developed expertise in supporting folks with complex profiles. David holds a master’s degree in education and a certificate in educational therapy, and has helped countless students and adults improve their executive function and metacognitive skills.
Christian Vinceneux has been in the neurodivergent space his entire life. He grew up as an anxious and shy kid with ADHD in a neurodiverse family. Professionally, he worked as an occupational therapist for over 30 years with neurodiverse families and has now transitioned as a parent coach. Christian has developed a unique approach to help parents navigate neurodivergence and identify practical solutions for everyday challenges while focusing on building a strong relationship with their child.
Wendy Jones is the founder of Be Better Life and Media, a transformational life coach, and the mother of four kids, both neurodivergent and neurotypical. Through her coaching at Be Better Life and productions at Be Better Media, she helps people unlock their potential and grow through greater self-awareness that helps them create more flow in their lives.
Anne Ryan is the Online Program Director for STRIVE Worldwide, an online program designed to teach independent living skills to individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism. STRIVE offers a variety of classes and students can learn at their own pace. Students are supported during the learning programs, and Anne shares course details and success stories from their enrollees.
Ben Drew has worked in the field of intellectual disabilities for over 25 years. He grew up in the UK and qualified as a learning disability nurse. In 2003 Ben founded Options in Bristol to help people with intellectual disabilities buy or rent their own homes and manage their own support. In 2008 Ben moved to New York and founded Open Future Learning, an organization that helps support staff assist their clients to their best possible potential.
Megan Smith is the founder of Harmony Restored, a company focused on helping individuals heal from the stress that is at the root of their physical and emotional pain. She is also President of Guiding Arrow Nature Camp, a non-profit regenerative farm and healing retreat center specializing in providing transformative outdoor experiences in a safe and nurturing community for neurodivergent children and young adults, and their families. Megan shares her experiences as the mother of two autistic children and her vision for the resource she is creating.
Antoinette Banks is an accomplished author, researcher, and CEO of Expert IEP, an EdTech company that supports students who learn differently and their parents. The platform helps to navigate the often confusing and daunting IEP process and system. Her book, “Better than A Diagnosis: A Single Parents Guide to Autism,” draws on her experiences as a mother of an autistic teenager to offer practical guidance and emotional support to others navigating similar challenges.
Nicole Homerin is an Inclusion Communities Manager at Partners for Youth with Disabilities and has over a decade of experience working with disabled children and youth. She has a background as a special education teacher and adaptive performance arts instructor, and joins us to discuss the training provided by her organization to support neurodivergent and disabled individuals and the community that supports them.