Lori with Sheila in Big Sur

Nicholas & Genevieve Boehm

1990

I am a mother of two children, Genevieve and Nicholas. But while Genevieve was born without any complications, Nicholas was born three months premature with spastic quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. Confronted with his very real special needs, I had to learn first hand how to steer through the maze of local, state and federal agencies in order to get Nicholas what he deserved; a chance, like any other child.  


As an outgrowth of my own experience, I went back to school where I received my B.S. in Child Development /Special Education from California State University, Fullerton in 1996. Since then I have worked with Ventura County under a grant to identify, qualify and recommend educational advocacy services for foster children.  Since  2000, I  have been involved in a number of public movements—organizing, educating and bringing people up to Sacramento for many scheduled events. I have lobbied and testified before numerous committees and subcommittees in Sacramento. In 2002, I worked for my local legislator, interning in my district.


Today, I am proud to say that as a result of not only my efforts, but through the efforts of many individuals committed to improving the lives of special needs children, my own Nicholas is living independently. Currently, he works as an advocate for a state agency with help from support services and regional center services as a productive member of our community.


The last ten years I have been working as a Special Needs Advocate for families, and individuals, helping them negotiate the complex maze of governmental agencies in California: the public school system, Regional Center, Department of Developmental Services (DDS), MediCal, IHSS. In 2006–2007, I participated in The Special Education Advocacy Training (SEAT) Project which is designed for individuals who want to become professional special education advocates. It is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, a federal agency. I attend ongoing trainings and conferences in areas relating to disabilities to keep up with current information. From 2007-2011, I served as a board member of the Ventura County Autism Society.

Imagine the possibilities for your child to maximize their potential...

Together, you and I will create
opportunities for them to achieve it!