What Are Your Rights? Parents of Children with Disabilities

May 10, 2023
real talk with susan and kristina podcast

In this episode of Real Talk, KJK Student Defense Attorneys Susan Stone and Kristina Supler are joined by Marbella Cáceres, Tammie Sebastian, and Lisa Lutz from the Ohio Coalition for the Education Of Children with Disabilities.  Topics that they discuss are the rights of parents with children with disabilities have.  The conversation includes how the coalition empowers parents when getting their children assistance, how parents can get their children with disabilities services, and how to find out if your child has hidden gifts under their disabilities.

Show Notes:

  • (03:00)  The Coalition: Fighting for Parent’s Rights with Their Children with Disabilities
  • (05:03)  How the Coalition Empowers Parents
  • (08:04)  Empowered Parents: Resolving Conflict Resolution with Agencies
  • (08:50)  How the Coalition Connects Parents with Disability Rights organizations
  • (09:58)  On Your Side:  The Coalition Also Has Children with Disabilities
  • (13:42)  Cover Up:  How Schools Focus on Disabilities But Miss Gifts
  • (14:44)  First Step:  What Parents Can First Do if They Suspect Their Child Has a Disability
  • (15:23)  The Three Tiers: What Every Parent Needs to Know
  • (17:28)  How the Coalition Helps Families Who Don’t Speak English
  • (19:21)  What are the Parents Rights
  • (21:35)  How the Coalition Helps Parents with Disabilities
  • (23:46)  Why Schools are Required to Have a Language Access Plan
  • (24:49)  What Over-Identification is and How It Can Hinder a Child
  • (27:16)  Parents Best Bet: How the Coalition Interfaces with Other Agencies to Provide Families with More Services
  • (29:59)  How Parents Can Work with the Coalition without Hiring Attorneys
  • (33:28)  Sage and Simple Advice Parents Should Use



Susan Stone: Today we are gonna talk about the darling of our practice, and that is special education law.

And I say it’s the darling because even before you and I were law partners, I started the practice only dreaming about doing special ed. I still, oh, 

Kristina Supler: How could there be life before us together? 

Susan Stone: What there was, there was you and my three kids. Everyone says that. But there was. And it started with special education and one of our guests here today who you’ll introduce, Tammie.

I remember reaching out to her years ago when I was just a newbie. Trying to break in and create a name for myself and saying, can I come talk about special education? And you were so gracious, Tammie, to host me to give a primer. And I look back then and I think, wow, what I, I wish I had the knowledge and the mileage of life experience and working with clients that I do today.

But you gotta start somewhere, right? Supler? That’s right. So today we’re gonna do a little special ed work. Why don’t you introduce it. 

Kristina Supler: Today we’re joined by Tammie Sebastian, Louise Lutz and Marbella Cáceres, who are all with the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities, which is a statewide nonprofit organization that serves families of infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities in Ohio.

And they also provide services O C E C D. That’s a mouthful. That is a mouthful. Much all of special ed alphabet soup we say, right? Yep. They work through a coalition effort with parents and other professional disability organizations. They have individual members. It’s been around since 1984 to help with parent training, and we are really pleased to be joined by three fabulous women today.


Tammie Sebastian: Hi, how are you guys? 

Susan Stone: We’re doing great. We actually just finished recording a whole speech for milestones for their conference. We did a virtual lecture. So we are just back to back today. But to start out, could one of you lovely guests, explain what the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities.

O C E C D is 

what you do and what your given roles are within the organization. That’s a mouthful. But you guys can handle it. 

Tammie Sebastian: I’m sure Marbella’s gonna do that. And I’m sure she’s gonna give you the correction on the 1984 when she, so I’ll hand it over to Marbella, but 1984 is when we became a P t I.

Is that correct? Marbella? 

Marbella Cáceres: Yes, that is correct. thank you. First of all, I wanna thank you for the opportunity that you’re giving the three of us to come and talk about the services. Our pleasure. The most important part. Yes. as you mentioned at the beginning, the coalition has been around long, long time.

Early seventies. We became Wow. Yes. And then we were so lucky enough to apply for the federal funded grant to become the parent training information center for Ohio since 1984. So yes, we have been around for over 50 years. Assisting families, assisting educators with anything that has to do about their responsibility that parents have under the special education process.

But the most important piece is the rights that the parents have in this process and how they can become informed so they can participate in this important, decision making meetings, for the benefit of the child children. We take our job very seriously. There is not enough that I can tell you about being involved at the coalition.

I first became, part of the coalition just to be an interpreter translator. I’ve been with the coalition of over 17 years now. And I have the privilege to be serving, The stay under my executive director, Dr. Lisa Hickman as the assistant director. Right now I’m the assistant director of the coalition.

I have been for the past three years. And I also oversee the multicultural department as the statewide multicultural coordinator, assisting families that do not have English as the first language, or they are limited English proficient. So that’s a 

Tammie Sebastian: big role. it 

Marbella Cáceres: is. Lisa, Tammie. 

Tammie Sebastian: Yeah. So Lisa, do you wanna Go ahead.

Go ahead Tammie. That’s fine. Okay. So yeah, this probably would be the even flow going to, so I actually, and as Susan had mentioned, so I had actually previously served in Lisa’s role. And then I’ll hand it over to Lisa. But I had covered Cuyahoga County as an information specialist for about nine years. and what did you do?

So an information specialist is very unique. So as the state parent training information center, we empower parents to become effective representatives for themselves. And there’s really a lot of confusion around advocacy or advocates and information specialists. And what we do is at no cost to parents and alsodistinction between advocate and information specialist. A as you heard, I said we empower parents.We do not come in and speak for parents.

We do not act as attorneys for parents. We do that through education, technical assistance, and I’ll let Lisa get into that a little bit more, as her role now as the information specialist in Cuyahoga County. But my role now, with the Ohio Coalition is I am the statewide program coordinator and that I wear many different hats.

I provide professional development to staff. I also, create and update trainings. look for host, partner with different agencies to bring in statewide webinars. And also we have a lot of project work that we do. We collaborate with the State Department of Education, the Ohio Department of Education, and many other agencies, and do a lot of project work.

We’re working on some cross agency training right now with empowering families. Just, we have so many things going on. And I don’t wanna take up all the time talking about all those things. I wanna give Lisa an opportunity and maybe we could come back around to that. And then also a big part of my role is networking and building those relationships.

And that is so that parents can have a seat at the table, and that they can have a voice. Lisa, 

Lisa Lutz: Hi, I, am Lisa Lutz and I am an information specialist and trainer. I cover not only Cuyahoga County, but Ashtabula, Lake Gaga, Portage Trumbo, Mahoney. So it’s a very, wide and busy area. I do a lot of work with the parents. I do go into meetings with parents. I do primarily all virtual at this point because I can’t get from one end of my area to the other. And parents seem to feel that they’re treated differently when somebody comes in with them. So that support is really important to help them feel more comfortable and more heard and that their voice does have meaning.

So that’s, 

Susan Stone: So would you actually file a due process complaint if necessary and serve as an advocate at a hearing? 

Lisa Lutz: I do not file due process complaints. I am not a lawyer. If a family wants to file a formal complaint with O D E, I will do some suggestions. But I don’t write it for them. I can walk them through that.

But, that is for them to have that power to say what they wanna say. 

Tammie Sebastian: And a big part of our role, too, as the state Parent Training information center is offering that conflict resolution, facilitation, mediation, and looking into all those things. We cannot tell a family what to do. But we wanna provide them with all the options.

And as you guys are aware, there’s administrative review. There’s the state complaint process, due process. And so we try to work through all those through training, and through information. Cadre has a lot of resources. The na I think that’s the Center for Dispute Resolution, the National Center for Dispute Resolution.

So we really try to work through the process with parents. But if that’s where they land, we will certainly help and support them through the process. We just don’t file on behalf. If that helps. 

Marbella Cáceres: Obviously, the work that we do, we recognize that sometimes there is systematic issues that need to be resolved for the benefit of that group of children and parents. 

So in those situations we partner with agencies that do that type of work. We’re very familiarized with Disability Rights, Ohio, the Civil Rights office. So we are a center also that provides resources to families. So if they come to us with specific questions like Tammie and Lisa were saying, we guide parents. We give parents options so they can make informed decisions.

That is the responsibility that we have as the parent training center for Ohio. 

Kristina Supler: I really like that all three of you have really in your comments heavily emphasized the importance of parents having a voice in the education of their children. So can you give us some more specifics on how you work with parents to empower them so that they do have voice to make sure that their child is receiving the necessary support and resources. 

Susan Stone: To make a meaningful benefit for their education post injury?

Tammie Sebastian: Yes. Yeah, that’s, I’m glad you guys mentioned that. And I, something we probably should have said, cuz I think we just dove right into the work, is we are all uniquely, parents of children with disabilities ourselves. So number one, that is the number one thing that we bring to the table is that lived experience.

And when you have that lived experience,it’s much easier, for parents to have that trust in knowing that you went through the process, that empathy, that you’ve went through that process. So I just wanted to come back to that and let you know that I am also a parent of two children with disabilities.

My oldest has ADHD and my youngest has autism. And Lisa, also, I, if we could probably go back around and let you know that Lisa, If you wanted to talk about your children too.

Lisa Lutz: I have four kids. My oldest has ADHD and dyslexia. had to fight tooth and nail to get him the supports he needed.

And all three of my boys have type one diabetes. So I have that medical piece. 

Susan Stone: And my Interesting, so do you deal with the interplay between Section 5 0 4 of the Rehabilitation Act? The a d a and i d e A? 

Lisa Lutz: Yes. Yes. 

Susan Stone: Okay. A lot of people. that’s a whole podcast on of itself, how those stages run together.

Lisa Lutz: I do a lot of, explaining the difference that, Section 5 0 4 is not the ugly stepsister of the I IEP. 

Kristina Supler: No, it’s all about access, right? 

Susan Stone: So yes, that is, that is another part of our work as well. And explaining letting them know the difference, helping them understand that, and that you’re not gonna have a 5 0 4 and an ip, but,Yeah, and you may not, sometimes you want one over the other.

Depends. correct. Love that. Marbella, can you, give us a little personal 

Marbella Cáceres: Yes. I’m also a parent of three children. My oldest child is 28 now. But she was identify, and that is the unique expertise that I bring because 25 years ago I wasn’t able to speak English. And I was the parent that was trying to look for assistance, but, no one opened the door other than the coalition to provide me with my rights in my native Spanish language. 

So that is the expertise that I bring. I work with families. I have my child who 14, was diagnosed with a specific learning disability because they thought that was just the fact that she was learning English. And Oh my gosh, wow. And then my male child is gifted, so I have that expertise.

Also to navigate that is another elephant in the room with a gifted education. And my little one was diagnosed when he was three with ADHD and is under the spectrum autism spectrum disorder. So like Tammie and Lisa, the experience is very personal. So it is the unique characteristic that sometimes bring us to the level of understanding parents, what they go through and how much they struggle. 

Susan Stone: Yeah, and I just wanna point out that parents of what we call two E twice exceptional kids have their own struggles. Because a lot of schools, if a student is doing well and getting good grades, what’s the problem? What’s the problem? It’s almost impossible.

Those are our biggest fights with school are those two we kids. Yeah. 

Tammie Sebastian: Yeah. we do. So we’re all shaking our heads, because we all are relating because if we had even a penny for every time we heard about the grades. The grades, yes. 

Susan Stone: The yes. But Johnny has no friends and can’t sit still.

Tammie Sebastian: Yeah. That there’s no other impact but grades. And yeah, I think we’ve all experienced that. I could just tell you from personal experience, my daughter, unfortunately was identified very late as gifted in her 11th grade year. what? That’s great. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Yeahinteresting interesting. It was in, I should, let me back up.

It’s not, she was gifted in one area. But the psychologist was so shocked to find out that nobody thought to give her this test and this assessment, and wanted to know why she wasn’t in honors. And I said, they. her ADHD was so glaringly obvious that nobody could see that giftedness and they didn’t test.

So I think we’ve all experienced that at some level. But yeah, it’s, the grades, the, our choice exceptional children. there’s so much, we could probably do this podcast once a week with you. let’s save our topics. Yeah.

Susan Stone: So the parents who suspect their child has a learning disability, what would you describe as the first steps a parent should take?

Kristina Supler: What does that look like? 

Lisa Lutz: To request a meeting with the school to, if they feel like they have a learning disability, to say that you,want a me a team meeting to discuss what interventions and different supports have already been put in place. And then possibly getting a multi-factor evaluation.

Susan Stone: Lisa, can I press you a little bit because I think a lot of parents don’t know that even before the I E P process, in the planning meeting in the E T R, can you go through what an response to intervention is and what the tiers are? Because I think sometimes we overlook those options. 

Lisa Lutz: We do. it’s a three-tiered, system similar to the P B I S program.

That the tier one is what everybody gets. It is the general education. The tier two is some when a student is struggling a little bit to see what other supports they might be able to put in place, whether it’s math or ELA or what area that might be in, but adding additional supports, not in place of, but additional supports.

And then the tier three is when you really need direct instruction. basically through an I E P. 

Tammie Sebastian: And if I could just add, I don’t know if you were gonna go to go any further with this, Susan. But a lot of times we see our children, being stuck in that R T I process. Oh yeah. I’m well aware.

Sometimes for years. And one of the things that we always bring up is that the federal law does say that they cannot use response to intervention to delay an evaluation. And I think that’s really important to talk about. And I always say, when we’re supporting parents, I always say, that’s great. Keep collecting your data. But let’s go ahead and evaluate, keep, go, keep doing the response to intervention. But let’s go ahead and evaluate. 

Susan Stone: And I’ve had denials to evaluate because they’re saying the response to the tier two works so well, why do you need us to evaluate? That’s a goodie, huh? 

Tammie Sebastian: Yeah, because, 

Lisa Lutz: yeah, that’s there, the response to intervention, you’re not going to have those through high school.

They’re not going to be doing those response to interventions on that level as in first and second grade. And if they need that in order to be successful within that school class, in that school system, then they need to see what other supports and services that they’re gonna need ongoing. 

Marbella Cáceres: For my, because the approach that sometimes I have for my families, many of my families are immigrant families that come here to assist them that probably is a non-existent system in our countries. Okay. So try to understand how everything connects and how everything works and what the responsibilities for a school the schools are is a very Outside subjects for them. Even, some of the terms that we use in special education do not exist, in other languages.

So trying to understand that. One way that I present it to my families is always, that is help that the schools use for struggling learners, for somebody that is having a hard time that, need that direct instruction, very specific guided instruction that has a beginning, that has a middle, that has an end. And also, that is followed with fidelity.

So those are the things that sometimes I cannot bring down to my families for them to understand how those systems connect with each other. Everything has to be in harmony for the student to have gain and education. And then it’s not, the academics is the social-emotional part of the student as well.

Tammie Sebastian: Yeah, I, and I just, I wanted to just add one more thing to response to intervention. If a child’s in response to intervention for three years, then I guess they’re not responding to intervention. That’s just, you think well, So that’s just my simplistic, 

Kristina Supler: I think that’s well said. I’m wondering for a, again, a theme of this discussion has been parents having voice and empowering them.

So when parents are navigating this process of obtaining services for their children, what are some of the key rights that parents should keep in mind and not lose sight of? 

Tammie Sebastian: Honestly, every parent comes to us and we talk a lot about this amongst us as staff and as parents.

Every parent comes to us at a different, where they might be in the process. It really depends. But one of the first things and I know we all have different ways of working parents. But I think collectively as an organization is the first thing we do is let that parent just release everything they need to release. When they come to us, they, it’s, there’s a lot going on. We just listen. Sometimes the first phone call, we’re just listening to them. Maybe the first couple of phone calls. But then I think the key things that we want them to to know is we reallythey we really have to emphasize their rights and that is so overwhelming.

That is such an overwhelming process. So we try to break it down. And we do a really good job of like, when we go through, And we start working through the process. Now, if they’re a parent that’s new in the process, obviously, we’re gonna talk about whether or not, they, whether or not what, you know, what’s been going on.

And I think Susan had said, you know what? I, Susan and Lisa were talking about initially, what do you tell the parents to do? And so we talked through that process. A lot of data collection, making sure that they’re collecting data. So documentation is huge. We tell parents, that’s one of the ver the very first, simplest, simplistic things that they can do is make sure they have documentation and data collection.

Because so many times parents are like, we’ve had these conversations. I’ve had these conversations. What was the response? I don’t know. Or they told me they were gonna do this. And really, if we can get them anywhere, just say, collect that data from the beginning. and then again, just, 

Susan Stone: and Tammie, I just wanna interrupt.

You’re assuming the parents have the executive function skills to do that? 

Kristina Supler: Oh, great point, Susan. Because I often, 

it’s, yeah, 

it’s a big assumption that the parents are able to navigate this. Cuz this can be a very complex and overwhelming process. 

Susan Stone: And a lot of disabilities are, you oftentimes we’ll see a parent with a similar disability. And they can’t get organized or they don’t have the luxury of getting organized. I wanna many children, jobs, parents. 

Yep. Yep. And to juggle Team meetings, by the way, are in the middle of the day. It’s hard. I know districts will try to make it early or late at the end of the day. But the executive function skills you need when you have a student with issues, it can be quite overwhelming.

Tammie Sebastian: That’s right. And that’s why I said we really have to meet the parent where they are at. And sometimes it is. and I know Marbella can speak to this too. Because she has a barrier with some of her families with the language. So that takes an extra layer of being able to develop. start starting that process.

Susan Stone: and Marbella I just wanna ask, does what languages can be assisted by your organization? Obviously Spanish, but I know that we really live in a very multicultural world. So what other languages can you help 

Marbella Cáceres: Any language. Any language that is spoken. Any parent. We obviously have multicultural information specialists that speak for Somali, French, Italian, spanish, Arabic and the ones that we don’t have in the house that are working part-time or full-time, we contract with agencies across the state that can provide interpreter agencies that can provide. So no family that comes through our door is left with no help. And there are some times,many times we deal also with parents that are struggle with literacy that cannot read and write. Parents with special needs their themselves, like you were mentioning.

Like Tammie said, we meet the family with the family is, for instance, my family. Sometimes, if you start talking to them right away about these are your rights, they’re going to shut down. So we need sometimes to a, identify those barriers, respectfully, work with them as much as possible to overcome some of the challenges because parents need to be engaged, parents need to participate, and many limitations that they have is due to a school’s not doing the right thing either.

So it’s okay, now you are aware that every single school district needs to have a language access plan. Now you know that. Now it’s not a favor that they’re doing to you by you requesting an interpreter. But you requesting this support for you to be engaged, for you to be involved, for you to be a fully participant in those meetings, you need to have this support. So the school is mandate to provide you that support.

I So once they know that they are empowered, at least to start this conversations. 

Susan Stone: Yeah. I wanna share a personal story. My grandparents. My grandmother especially spoke initially very little English. And my mother said that when she went to kindergarten they thought she was cognitively impaired because she really spoke yiddish, which is really interesting cuz it’s an almost dead language now.

But they viewed her as, Having special needs, but really it was because she was raised and English was not the primary language of the home. So I hear ya. 

Tammie Sebastian: We’ve done a lot of work around that, bringing in Steven Gill,national speaker, and, talking about the over-identification.

So especially when it comes to language. And whether or not that is you know, the process that they need to go through, whether or not that is a, true learning disability or language issue. And I just wanted to say something to come back really quick on this is, I wouldn’t say a personal story, but an advocacy story. That when we work with parents and meeting them where they’re at, I actually, in Cuyahoga County worked with a lot of families who, in underserved communities and, also coming from an underserved community myself. And mom was, or grandma I should say, I’m sorry, had full custody, was not able, very little reading, very little writing. But as we walked through the process every step of the way, even though she was not actually writing those things or,she was verbally telling me what to write, how.

And she, and even in the places when we started, we had to go file a complaint. And even then I did not take over for her. I had her sitting with me and she was part of the process whether she was organizing papers, whether she wasjust helping,to tell the story along the way. She was part of writing that complaint and it empowered her so much that she’s gone on to actually be a great collaborator with the district she’s in because they held her in such high regards after she fought so hard for her grandson.

So I. I think it’s even more important to empower those parents who might not be,who might not have those executive, who might have a disability just as their child. I think even more and I think that we talked a little bit about that Marbella and I, about that empowering piece of just starting off with giving them where they’re, or meeting them where they’re at, giving them what they need to get onto the next piece.

Kristina Supler: That’s a really nice, uplifting story, Tammie, and listening to the three of you, you’re a wealth of knowledge individually and even more so collectively. And so tell our listeners a little bit about how you collaborate with other organizations and agencies to advocate the needs for, the needs of children with disabilities at the state and national level.

Tammie Sebastian: Ooh, so we got a really good one. I love a 

Susan Stone: who, you got an we have a really big moment. 

Tammie Sebastian: I know, and I hope parents and professionals will be excited as well. It’s no secret. But the Ohio Coalition,was asked to partner with the Ohio Department of Education to look at our parent notice, which is our procedural safeguards.

And our last parent notice was called a guide. And for those of you who really have been through the process of special education, they’ll probably remember whose idea. And so the procedural safeguards have to have those, so those that’s the parent notice. And it has to be provided to parents andat an initial evaluation,when they request, when they provide consent, pretty much every time they turn around.

And I have to tell you, and we’re trying to get away from the stigma or the joking of you could probably paint your house with these. Because it takes away the seriousness of how important this document is. And so we got have been given the opportunity to partner with the department and rewrite the parent notice.

And, that started a year ago, that process. And there was rule revisions from the operating standards that needed to be changed every five years. The Ohio Operating Standards go through a rule revision process. And we, just completed that this week we will be presenting it at the state advisory panel for exceptional children.

How exciting. Exciting. Yes. And then we are going to be doing a series of trainings and rollout. It’s, it will roll out next year. But there’s gonna be a lot coming with this to educate parents. We’re very excited about that. I couldn’t think of a better way to talk about a collaboration. And this is very, very important because we we really want to model for parents that you can honestly be in disagreement with your district and you’re gonna have up and downs and there might be conflict. But you can still partner with them and make sure that the child is always the goal.

And we’ve done that with the State Department of Education. So we hope we can model that to parents and districts alike to make sure that they’re working through that process. I’m sorry, I got a little long-winded. I’m very excited about. 

Susan Stone: I think we asked the right questions. I’m loving the responses.

I’m gonna conclude with a final question to all three of you lovely ladies. What can Kristina and I as attorneys in this space, what’s the most important thing you’d like to see from us? 

Kristina Supler: Ooh. That’s a good question. I like 

Susan Stone: I’m bringing it back to us, it is our podcast

Tammie Sebastian: Oh we’re thinking hard? 

Kristina Supler: Yeah, I can tell. I can tell. 

Lisa Lutz: I think one of the things that is overwhelming for parents when they feel like the council, when they see council is the monetary commitment. And a lot of my families do not have that. I don’t know how you structure your financial pieces. But keeping that in mind and possibly having a plan and a program to help families that do not have that, those resources.

Susan Stone: And that’s a, that’s, and I agree that is a serious issue that Kristina and talk about Of course. We are lawyers. That’s our job. We’re not funded by an agency. And I think the biggest challenge we have is that we have seen attorneys immediately move to filing a new process complaint because that’s the only mechanism that they can think of that if they prevailed, they would get attorney’s fees.

I’m gonna be very, this is real talk. We won’t do that we won’t sue just for the sake of getting our fees. In fact, I refuse to do that because you couldn’t that’s not ethical to me. 

Kristina Supler: and it’s often not in, in the best interest of meeting and serving the needs of the child. 

Susan Stone: So we just don’t do that.

Tammie Sebastian: we say, I’m so excited to hear that I, yes, 

Susan Stone: So we are hourly. and we are sadly, we’re not a resource for someone who cannot, a family that cannot pay our fee because of course, it’s our job and that’s how we get paid. On the other hand, we don’t file lawsuits that don’t have merit.It’s a real issue.

And I think that’s what we try to do as a other solution, is that we work with on our own staff a parent advocate who’s at a 

lower rate than ours. 

So we try to, what we call staff responsibly. The problem we have is a lot of times people want us. 

Yeah, and it’s a real challenge. It’s, this is a real challenge and our hearts go out, 

but Right.

Tammie? Marbella, what are your thoughts? 

Tammie Sebastian: If you don’t mind, Marbella. Do you mind if I, because I can answer. Go ahead, Iggy. Back off of, yeah, I can piggyback off of that. I, It was interesting because, you had said at the beginning that we, did a, had a training years ago, and it ties into what you’re saying.

You’re not filing for the for the sake of filing. It’s whether it’s, in the best interest of the family. I. that would go to say that you would love to be proactive in the process and and I think actually having us here today speaks volumes to that.

Me, as the person who needs to bring in statewide presenters, I think I would love to bring you guys in, to do some statewide webinars. And maybe collaborate on some trainings. So that’s, 

Susan Stone: That would be our way of Wonderful. Yeah. Yeah. We would love to train people to advocate. It’s a, if you’s great.

Thanks Tammie. For sure. Yeah. 

This was incredible. Ladies, do you have any final parting words that you would wanna share? And we’ll send you this podcast so you can share it around. Because I think we’ve touched on a lot of important issues. 

Tammie Sebastian: We have. Marbella, did you wanna go since you were, 

Marbella Cáceres: I just want to tell parents, if they’re listening to this, that every day is a day of an opportunity to know a little bit more of what you know, what you knew the day before.

Cause sometimes as parents will feel guilty of not knowing what is the right thing to do for our children. I tell my, my families, you know your child better. And we always repeat that anybody here you have the best interest in the child. And go by your gut instinct. As mothers we’re very unique, situated. God give us an extra sixth sense to follow that direction.

So I just wanna encourage parents, if they have questions, anything that we can do as an agency for them. We are here to support you and empower you every way possible. 

Tammie Sebastian: And I would just say the same thing. I would just just go a little bit deeper and say, that if you think, like Marbella said, she said if you have that gut instinct to go on it, it never hurts to get the information.

And sometimes it’s just coming to get some information and empowering yourself. Opening yourselves up to that. And I also wanna put, if you don’t mind our intake, number out there, so please, that way please. yeah, so it’s 1-844-382-5452 and you will be connected with Martha Lausé.

She is our intake referral specialist. And so anywhere in Ohio you’re at, she’ll be able you to direct you. Like Marbella said, we cover the entire state of Ohio. There’s not a language out there. we don’t turn anybody away that a language out there that we don’t serve. And again, just thank you guys for giving us the opportunity to reach parents. Because that’s always that’s always the challenge is we get parents that come to us and say, I wish I would’ve known about you guys. And it’s so hard for us to hear. So this helps us with our outreach. And then I’ll hand it over to Lisa. 

Susan Stone: And this is our podcast is our way of really talking about the issues that need to be talked about.

Opening up up the idea of resources, opening up minds. And so for those parents who need free or and affordable resources. We are so grateful to the coalition. Lisa, what are your thoughts? 

Lisa Lutz: I just wanna thank you for having us and,tell parents that w we’re here, we’re, we are here for you and, we’re here for your child.

We want the best for them. And, we will help you learn to be their best advocate. 

Susan Stone: And, again, we would, Kristina and I would love to come in and train people to be self-advocates. So thank you for that idea. 

Kristina Supler: This was a real treat. Thank you for taking time out to speak with us today.