Annette talks with Dawn Cordeiro this week about advocating for your special needs child. While some parents have very good luck navigating the educational system with their child, others run into many challenges. In short, some school systems “get it” and others require a strong parent to achieve the educational goals they want and need for their special needs loved one.

Dawn Cordeiro has turned the many frustrations of navigating the school system into a passion and now helps other parents with the challenges they face in the educational systems. She founded Tommy’s Voice to help train other parents and give them the tools they need to go in and advocate effectively for their child in the school system. While she does accompany some parents, her goal is to make sure they can advocate for themselves.

Dawn speaks with Annette about the many unfortunate situations her and her son Tommy have had to endure over the years when it comes to getting a proper education and the support needed to do so.

Dawn talks about the need for more effective special needs advocacy and the importance of making sure you put your child first in all situations with the school system.

She speaks with Annette about the difference between home and school issues and behavior and why she feels many behaviors are not seen in a home setting, but come out when school starts.

Annette and Dawn chat about how teachers can get stuck sometimes, how school leadership needs to hear more for the special needs community and how educators can speak more effectively and compassionately when communicating with a special needs student.

You can connect with Dawn and Tommy’s Voice at: TommysVoice1@gmail.com

And find her cable TV show, Parents Connection here: http://tv9seekonk.com/