Is your child struggling in school?
Does your child need an IEP/504 or behavior support plan?
Does your mom’s intuition tell you something is not right with your child’s education?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need an educational advocate!
Why is Shira a strong advocate?
As a classroom teacher for more than 20 years, Shira has taught many different kinds of learners. It has been her work with special education students that brings her the most joy. Certified in SLANT, an Orton- Gillingham based multi-sensory structured language program, and experienced in Structured Word Inquiry, Shira has extensive experience working with students with language-based learning disabilities as a reading interventionist and special education advocate. Her unique approach of combining her knowledge of curriculum and of the LD learner provides valuable insight into just what the student needs to be successful.
With an awareness of the issues that parents face when advocating for their children who learn differently, Shira inaugurated a program to bring awareness for parents of children with LD, Dyslexia, ADHD, Executive Function and Social/Emotional issues. This invaluable program meets throughout the year, bringing the most prominent professionals in the field to present on the myriad of issues important to those navigating this difficult journey. Shira, herself, has presented at LD conferences on assistive technology, executive function, School Advocacy, Responsive Classroom, collaborative problem solving and reading interventions.
Each of Shira’s three children has different learning styles. One of her children has profound dyslexia and was in and out of 7 schools before the age of 11. Through her own experience as an educational advocate and having worked in dozens of school settings, she has developed a solid understanding of the kinds of supports children need, how to obtain educational services and supports, and ways that parents can be their child’s best advocate.
“I wish I had called you earlier!” is the comment Shira hears most from her clients
Shira has successfully worked with over a dozen Chicagoland districts, collaborating with school teams to strengthen plans/services or change placements for students who have or who need IEP’s/504’s with a range of issues including ADHD, executive function deficits, learning disabilities, autism, anxiety, social emotional issues, school refusal, and other health issues.
What Services Does Shira Provide?
Shira can improve your understanding of educational rights and available options of services and supports for your child.
Her services include:
- Consultation in person, by phone or virtually to understand the educational rights and the available options for services and supports for your child
- Communication with school personnel of public, private and therapeutic schools
- Attendance at IEP, 504, domain, school conferences and other educational plan meetings
- Review and Assistance with IEP goals and planning
- Plan Coordination with various providers (psychiatrists, psychologists, educational therapists, social workers, speech and occupational therapists)
- Classroom observation and follow-up plan
- Assistance with Behavior Intervention Plans
- Support with developing goals for Assistive Technology use
- Document analysis for educational reports, IEP’s and 504’s
What Do Parents Say About Shira’s Work?
”I have been teaching in the general education setting for 17 years, and have had plenty of experience attending IEP meetings for my students over the years. However, being on the other side of the table for my son’s IEP needs I felt as though I wasn’t being heard.
After reaching out to Shira Schwartz about my concerns for my son’s progress with his IEP goals, Shira called me back the next day and immediately put my concerns at ease. I was impressed with her compassion, understanding, expertise, and professionalism while talking me through my experience thus far. She thoroughly read through my son’s documents, reports, and various paperwork that same day and put together a case that we could present at his IEP meeting the following day! She gave me hope, and quickly targeted the need for revisions on each of my son’s goals in order to ensure more social-emotional and academic progress!
During his meeting, my husband and I couldn’t be more impressed with her knowledge of the system and the language needed to reach the team’s attention. She was well prepared, precise, and effective. Having Shira on our side to help advocate for our son gives us the confidence we need to pursue a successful future for him!” Kelly P.
“Shira is great at what she does. I contacted her when my daughter was struggling with executive function issues, and within a few short months, she got the school to write an IEP. This was against very high odds, as our district is notoriously “stingy” about granting accommodations.
I truly believe it was Shira’s tenacity, mastery of the subject matter and ability to bond with others that won over, and ultimately convinced, the team. I also feel that Shira advocated for my child like she would her own child, pushing aggressively for the most support possible. I am forever grateful to Shira and will continue to rely on her expertise as my daughter moves into high school.” Susan G.
Content provided by Women Belong member Shira Schwartz