melinda
  • Master of Arts, Special Education- CSU, Northridge
  • Education Specialist Instruction Credential, Mild/Moderate Disabilities
  • BA Psychology- CSU, Northridge
  • Lindamood Bell Visualizing/Verbalizing Certification
  • Standards Based Instruction Certification
  • SB395 CLAD Certification

AREA OF EXPERTISE

  • Document Review
  • IFSP/IEP Preparation and Attendance
  • Communication Between Families and School Districts
  • Resolution, Mediation and Due Process Support
  • Consultation and Support with Regional Center Consumers
  • Parent and Professional Trainings and Workshops
  • Program Observation, Analysis and Report
  • Itinerant Support and Consultation
  • Program Design

MY MISSION

I will provide personal, respectful service to families of children with special needs and to their educational teams. I will work to understand the unique needs of each child and their family, to respect their culture and choices, and to help them guide and navigate the special education system. I will support educational teams and school districts as they learn the unique needs of their students in order to develop appropriate programs and support in the local school setting. Having been in IEPs for over 20 years as a parent, a teacher, a professional liaison, and a consultant I bring a unique ability to facilitate the development of positive relationships between families and school districts in order to provide a free and appropriate public education and keep the focus on the unique needs of each child. ~Melinda

MY STORY

Melinda is first and foremost the mother of 3 amazing children. For the past 15 years she has dedicated her herself to supporting families and school districts in meeting the needs of all children with special needs. She returned to school after her daughter was born and earned a Masters degree in Special Education. She has taught preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, and post-secondary education; working with children with disabilities ranging from autism and other developmental disabilities to deafness, emotional issues, and specific learning disabilities. She also spent 6 years as the Educational Liaison and member of the Research team for the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles. Melinda works with families and their educational teams to develop supportive programs and positive relationships. Her research and work over the past several years has focused on Cochlear Implants and serving both students who use cochlear implants and hearing aids in the mainstream setting as well as the educational teams who support them.

Because she was alone as she began this journey of raising a child with special needs and all that it entailed, she knew that she never wanted another family to feel alone in the process. Melinda also saw a need in the educational setting specifically when it came to oral deaf education. While families and specialists were working in private settings to prepare these children to be educated in their local neighborhood schools, the educational system did not realize this new group of DHH students were coming to the general education classrooms. Melinda returned to school devoted to helping the system prepare to serve children with hearing aids and cochlear implants in the mainstream setting.

When her daughter, Krysta, was born she was not tested under the Newborn Hearing Screening. Melinda had to convince family, friends, and doctors that Krysta could not hear. Because at that time, the cochlear implant had not yet been approved by the FDA for pre-lingually deaf children, and she had no path to follow, she forged ahead into uncharted territory. Since then she has devoted herself to ensuring that other families, no matter the disability did not have to feel alone in their children’s IEPs and in navigating their journey.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • HearingLikeMe.com
  • Vendor for Lanterman Regional Center
  • House Ear Institute CARE Center, Educational Liaison
  • Rialto Unified School District
  • Glendale Unified School District
  • Lowell Joint School District
  • Santa Barbara City School District
  • Lennox School District
  • Norris School District
  • Laguna Beach School District
  • Oxnard Elementary School District
  • El Monte School District
  • Lancaster School District
  • Beverly Hills Unified School District
  • William S. Hart School District; Special Day Classroom Teacher: English (Mild/Moderate Disabilities) and Summer School Special Day Classroom Teacher (Moderate/Severe Disabilities)
  • Sulpher Springs School District; Special Day Class Teacher (Mild/Moderate Disabilities)
  • Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE); Special Education Teacher (Moderate/Severe Disabilities)