A wide range of advocacy services for children with learning differences are available in the private sector. The curator of the Nova Education Resources website, Juliet Hiznay, is an attorney and special education advocate in private practice in Northern Virginia. She has lived in the Washington D.C. area for two decades and has long been engaged in civic affairs in Arlington County. As part of her law practice, Juliet provides direct services to individuals and families in Northern Virginia seeking consultation or representation relating to learning differences. Juliet also counsels individuals with disabilities who are transitioning to secondary and post-secondary education opportunities. FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO CONTACT JULIET HIZNAY
Parent Consultation & Coaching
Juliet consults with parents regarding a wide variety of concerns related to a child’s learning differences. Parent coaching can include identifying a child’s unique needs, referrals to experts, putting parents in touch with school resources within the school district, county and state. She offers guidance as well as practical tips for addressing the challenges a child is facing. This service is designed for the parent or caregiver who has just learned that their child needs additional support or is seeking advice on how to achieve better results when advocating for a child. Juliet works with parents to develop a plan tailored to the child and the district where the child attends school.
504 Plans & Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
Juliet advises families whose children need accommodations, special education services, related services such as occupational therapy and speech language therapy in order to access the curriculum. These accommodations and services may be mandated under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) [http://www.ada.gov] or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (http://idea.ed.gov) and Virginia state regulations, typically in the public school setting. Juliet provides private consultation and represents families in meetings with school personnel.
Transition & Higher Education Consultation
As students with learning differences mature they can experience a crisis when educational programs become more vigorous or as skills required for independent living become critical. It is not uncommon for students with learning differences to suddenly find in middle school, high school or college that social skills, organizational skills or mental health issues have become major obstacles. When transitioning to adulthood, students with disabilities may need additional supports that were not previously required. Students with disabilities may also encounter difficulty being accepted into college programs. Juliet offers consultation for families and individuals confronted with these challenges. This service may include identifying obstacles, problem solving, representation in legal disputes or referral to local experts and advocacy organizations.
If a school refuses to provide your child with services or accommodations a parent believes they need, parents may need to assess their legal rights. Juliet provides claim assessment for clients who are considering formal legal action.