Debi Wasilauski, M. Ed.
Debi has been an advocate working with families to assist in their understanding and navigation of the special education process in over 30 school districts in Massachusetts. She works diligently to represent the best interests and individualized needs of each of her families’ students requiring special education supports and services. While also working with these families to support, educate and empower them to be active and informed members of their child’s educational team. Debi draws upon her many years of diverse experiences in education as an advocate, teacher, counselor, and tutor and the experiences of the other advocates at Autism Spectrum Advocacy to provide a unique perspective in the team process and assisting parents in planning for and developing a comprehensive and appropriate IEP and placement while still maintaining a collaborative working relationship with their team.
In addition to her experiences, Debi continues to update and advance her training in special education issues such as legal and educational topics by attending conferences and workshops. She also has assisted in developing workshops that educate parents and paraprofessionals in understanding the special education process. Debi was trained and did an internship at the Federation of Children with Special Needs, she is also Wrightslaw trained. Additionally, Debi is a member of SPAN and AANE. Before joining Autism Spectrum Advocacy, she had her own practice where she worked with families to assist them in getting needed services and appropriate placements.
Prior to this Debi worked for over 15 years in a variety of settings that have provided her with experience and expertise to assist her in advocating for the unique needs of each student. Debi’s first teaching job was in Miami at a residential school. While completing her Master’s Degree in Education at Boston College, she supervised undergraduate students for their practicums and internships in education. Debi taught at the New England Center for Autism (now New England Center for Children). While teaching in this program she had the opportunity to work with students with Autism and implement programming following an Applied Behavior Analysis model. At the Boston College Campus School, she worked closely with the communication clinic at Children’s Hospital to develop Augmentative Communication Programs for children with both physical and mental challenges. Her last teaching position was in a Language-Based Integrated Preschool Classroom. After teaching, Debi worked as a Child Life Specialist in a clinic for children with long-term illness. She helped to design lessons and activities to educate the children on understanding and management of their illness, provide outlets for expression of emotions, assist parents with behavioral programs to support medical management, and act as a liaison between the home, school, and the clinic. During this time, she also tutored elementary children in reading and math. Within her local community, Debi also advocated for children’s needs by participating on a committee to assist in developing child protection policies. She also trained and volunteered as a parent group facilitator for the It Takes a Village Program, a prevention program for At-Risk Teen behavior.