"From our first call to Stephanie, who came highly recommended by another parent in town, she immediately put me at ease by giving excellent advice as to how to best prepare for that first IEP meeting. She is extremely knowledgeable about educational services for youth on the Autism Spectrum, helped suggest the appropriate evaluations and accompanying documentation needed for my son’s transition to preschool, and approached every meeting with professionalism and respect for all those around the table. Not only did this result in an excellent IEP that solidified services from the start of my son’s experience in public school, but it began an ongoing and positive dialogue with his educators that she helped set forth by making suggestions for regular means of communication. Stephanie has supported us for the past three years in our IEP meetings and preparation process, and I have referred several friends to her agency who are struggling to get the services their children need and deserve. We feel blessed to have had Stephanie’s involvement from the start because even though I’m a professional in the human services field, I realized early on that it would too much of an emotional process to go through alone when it’s your own child that’s involved. She inspired calm and confidence by advising us, thoroughly reviewing IEP documents, and writing thoughtful responses to the District. I would recommend her or any of her colleagues to a family just starting out in this daunting process, or wherever you are along your journey of seeking the right services for your child."
- M.G. (Parent)
"...Cheryl brings a blend of knowledge, professionalism, commitment and tenaciousness that produces results. In working with her we have improved the school's compliance with the IEP and communication to us..."
- A.M. (Parent)
"I am a mother of a child diagnosed with Autism. My child has an IEP and Debi reads this and helps me to understand and work on making changes as needed. We work together to prepare for meetings and she goes to all the meetings with me. She is a really important part of my child’s team. I feel my advocate Debi is invaluable to this process that can be very complicated and I would be lost without her. "
"Stephanie has worked with our family through every facet of the IEP process. She brings a calming; assertive (not aggressive) manner to the table that gives us confidence and assures that our son gets the services that he needs. We cannot say enough about the importance of her advocacy in our son's education."
- K.B. (Parent)
"Creating the best possible IEP for your child can be a struggle, as parents are at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding all of their rights and best practices in special education. Cheryl Temple made sense of a confusing landscape and gave us the confidence to have high expectations. Her unrelenting drive and expertise led to a plan that is seeing our child thrive today."
“We appreciate the time and knowledge Debi has provided as she assists us! We have never as clearly understood the IEP and process, which helped us to thoughtfully respond to our daughter’s IEP.”
"Working with Stephanie Leblanc has been one of the best decisions our family has ever made. Stephanie came highly recommended to us in 2011 by a board member and an administrator of a private school for autism in the Greater Boston area. Our family was about to embark on a major decision and sacrifice to provide our children with the best education possible, and it was clear we would need help. Stephanie helped us obtain placements for each of our children in an exclusive ABA program in the Greater Boston area. She also helped us obtain additional services and supports that we were unaware we could advocate for, yet desperately needed at the time. The progress our children made in that program, as well as the progress our family made together as a whole, was life changing to say the least. Several years later we moved out of state, but quickly found ourselves making the decision to move back to Massachusetts. Stephanie was the first call we made. This time, she helped us obtain placements for each of our children in a well-known private school for autism in western Massachusetts.
Stephanie Leblanc’s knowledge, experience, and professionalism in autism education advocacy are unparalleled. Due to her many years of experience as an autism advocate, as well as being the parent of a child on the autism spectrum, she has a wealth of information and resources. This has been vital to our success. She will work with you to meet you at the level of support you need, and ensures your goals are her priority every step of the way. She is detail oriented, data-driven, and fact-based. One of the most notable qualities about Stephanie is her unique ability to balance being a staunch advocate for her families while working cooperatively with school districts to get results. She has an incredible way of maintaining a collaborative team approach, even when decisions may be challenging to agree on. Administrators and team members from each school district we have worked with have commented on what a pleasure it is to work with Stephanie. We have been able to achieve all of our goals working with Stephanie, as well as build and maintain positive relationships with the school districts we have worked with. This has been invaluable to our children’s education. Stephanie truly wants to give parents the tools they need to succeed so that they can become their child’s best advocate, and she has helped us accomplish just that. It is one of the greatest gifts we have ever received, and I don’t know where we would be today without her."
- D.W. (Parent)
"The second best thing I ever did for my son was to hire Cheryl as my advocate. The first best thing I ever did for my son was to change school districts, which I couldn't have done without Cheryl's help.
I had been frustrated with my son’s current school districts for refusing to provide services he desperately needed. When he was in kindergarten, I hired an advocate (not Cheryl) who sat silently at the IEP meetings while I was outraged. When my son was in second grade, I hired a lawyer who did a little more than that at three times the price...I found Cheryl through a friend of a friend who worked for a well-known developmental psychologist. I was so overwhelmed at my first meeting with her I didn't know where to start, but as soon as I began talking, she quickly understood my plight and asked all the right questions...Cheryl was able to be calm and firm with my son's IEP Team, even when she was just as outraged as I was. All I had to do was give her a look during the meeting and she would explain to the team exactly what was wrong (or illegal) about what they proposed. She helped my husband and I write detailed concern statements that targeted our major areas of concern as to what we wanted for our son. She remembered all the details from the meetings and made suggestions as to what to do next. Usually she said, "the next step is this and if you don't mind, with your permission, I'll go ahead and draft a letter to get it done." Music to my ears! Cheryl pushed the school to be accountable for what they wrote in the IEP ...she was with me every step of the way...It's now a year later and my son is so happy at his new school and he has friends for the first time in years...I am so happy and relieved that I have Cheryl as my trusted advocate to help me navigate everything to come. She has been everything I hoped an advocate would be: a fighter, a negotiator, a role model, a teacher, a therapist and a friend."
- E.S. (Parent)
"Working with Debi supported us through a very difficult time of finding a placement for our son. Her assistance with communications got the team moving again and allowed us to pursue an out of district placement. With her support and guidance, it made this process much less stressful for us. Thank you!!"
"…I am truly blessed to have Stephanie LeBlanc in my life and especially my son’s life. We would be lost without her. She has been there fighting for my son and his rights for the longest time. She has been there with us for my son’s IEP meetings, regular meetings and making sure my son gets everything he needs. Stephanie has made sure that if the school system could not help him that he was placed in the right school and my son is at the right school thriving, he even made Student of the Week. If you don’t know where to turn and you have questions on your child’s needs contact Stephanie. No doubt parents are the best advocates for their children but we all need help sometimes."
- R.D. (Parent)
"My husband and I sought Cheryl's services when it became clear to us that we needed guidance in helping our son, who has autism, become successful in an educational setting. A friend who was using her and singing her praises recommended Cheryl to us. Hiring Cheryl was the best thing we did. Our experience with Cheryl has been remarkable. I truly couldn't have imagined how instrumental she would be in helping us to get our son the educational placement that was best for him. She has extensive knowledge in understanding IEPs and special needs regulations. She works collaboratively with staff, is a true professional and an advocate you can trust. She is always quick to respond to emails and phone calls and always kept on top of the issues at hand. A year ago at this time I was crying myself to sleep because things were so bad for our son. Today we are rejoicing that our son has overcome certain fears that he had in school. He is progressing, and he loves school. He had his birthday party with friends from school....a first! We truly feel that we couldn't be where we are today without Cheryl."
- C. (Family)
“…As a mom of a special needs child, I always worried if I was doing enough to help support the educational needs of my child. I took seminars and classes to better understand the IEP process and laws, but often felt completely overwhelmed. The IEP meetings became a cause of such great anxiety and fear that I would fail in doing what was best for my child. I was also concerned about “rocking the boat” with the school system and making the school days more difficult for my child.
Deb Wasilauski has not only provided me with support and guidance, but has gotten a great understand of the needs that my child requires. She has also developed a good rapport with the IEP team and teachers at the school. This allows me to maintain a good balance with the team without making things difficult for my child. I no longer feel anxious about the process, but feel more confident that I am doing everything I can to help my child.”
- H.G (Parent)
"Our attorney recommended we reach out to Stephanie for her assistance with working with our school system and finding a new school for our son. From our very first conversation with Stephanie we knew she would be able to help us reach our goal. We are so pleased that our son is doing so well in his new school. Even though we are confident he is in the right place, we continue to work with Stephanie so we will know we are making the best decisions we can for our child."
– C.L. (Parent)
“...Cheryl, your expertise and guidance have helped secure services and supports for "X" that otherwise he would not have had. We are grateful for all your care & compassion, patience, hard work, perseverance, dedication, and of course your passion for helping children and families navigate the murky waters of the educational system! You are gifted at what you do and we are so fortunate to have had you by our sides!”
- Mr. and Mrs. B. (Parents)
"I have been working with Debi for the past three years. I appreciate her expertise in deciphering IEP documents and making recommendations. Thanks to her collaborative approach, her presence is always welcomed at IEP meetings. With Debi as my advocate, I feel confident that my two sons' very different needs are being met. Also, I like to have an advocate on our team in case any problems come up that I don't know how to solve by myself."
- E.T. (Parent)
"My wife and I have worked with Stephanie for 8 years now. Our first need was for my then 4 year old to get better services at the public school. We worked with Stephanie on this and we were successful in securing what my son needed at the time. Over the years that followed we worked with Stephanie and the school district to transition my son to an out of district school that fit his needs better. Every year we have Stephanie at our annual IEP meetings to make sure nothing is missed. I cannot say enough good things about her!"
- D.S. (Parent)
"...I felt more at ease about the IEP process after only one phone conversation with her (my husband said he could see the relief on my face)! She helped us understand the areas of our IEP that needed improvement while praising all of the areas of strength. Her demeanor in the meeting was exactly what we needed – confident and strong but not intimidating or ‘bulldog-ish’. She was extremely respectful and complimentary of our team while getting across sensitive points that I would have had trouble communicating. With Cheryl there I was able to be the parent in the room rather than the parent, advocate, legal expert and rule enforcer."
- J.O. (Parent)
"My wife and I have been working with Autism Spectrum Advocacy for the past 3 years for ongoing support for educational services provided to our son.
Our advocate, Debi Wasilauski, has been an invaluable asset to us during this time. Her experience, calm demeanor, and clear explanations are a huge help to us during these often-stressful school meetings and discussions. We depend on her for a great deal of support and help to understand the process and walk us through decrypting this complicated issue.
We are very lucky to have such an outstanding resource on our side, and I would recommend ASA's services to anyone who needs similar help. A big thank you to the entire team for your service to families."
- P.R. (Parent)
"Stephanie LeBlanc has been aiding my family for several years. She has guided us through the IEP process with much help and understanding. Stephanie knows how to navigate the meeting process and get the best and most out the IEP. She is a pleasure to work with and I know our son is getting what he needs with her help and cooperation with the school."
– D.G. (Parent)
“Cheryl, your knowledge, insight, and resilience while building a meaningful IEP makes you truly worthy of the title of advocate. It’s been great having you in our corner and we hope that continues.”
- M (Family)
"…Over the past four years, Debi has become part of our sons' "village." Her guidance and opinions are as valued as our Developmental Pedi, at-home BCBA, and SPED Team. Debi's collegial approach to joining the IEP Team discussions has helped the Team reach resolutions that I'm not sure would have happened had she not been in attendance. She has also helped to keep my sanity - and professionalism! 😉 - during tense situations with the school district. Without her, I would have said things I'd later regret. We were also very lucky to have Debi's guidance on an out-of-district placement. During such an emotional time, I can't tell you how helpful it was that there was another set of eyes with my husband and me as we toured schools and finalized our placement decision."
- C.K. (Parent)