As the primary caregiver of three sons, much of Carol’s own special education came from listening to professionals in the educational and medical fields and attending numerous lectures, seminars and conferences. The most important source, however, was always other caregivers and care receivers who selflessly shared their stories, especially participants in the National Organization of Disorders of the Corpus Callosum (NODCC) and Love Your Brain (LYB) organizations.
Carol’s advocacy skills began a different way. As a Business Communications major and former Fortune 100 HR employee, she spoke on behalf of minorities who faced discrimination. These experiences served as steppingstones on her path: it was her special education, willingness to speak out, and learned ability to advocate that influenced her children’s achievements.
The beginning of SPED*NET was rooted in a parent meeting at her son’s preschool. Carol and Eve met and found they shared the same principles and vision. Before then, each had been working separately to find the best resources for her own children. Carol and Eve quickly realized that together their influence would be more powerful. SPED*NET was born: Shared knowledge with other parents strengthened their collective voice as well as their quest for special education reform.
Now, some 25 years later, Carol’s sons are young adults. While the type of supports they need has changed, encouraging them and their caregivers to advocate on their behalf has remained fundamental to their successes.
The foundation forged long ago still serves Carol today. As SPED*NET’s guide to special services emphasizes: Knowledge is power. Bringing knowledge to the table benefits you, your children, family, school system, and community.