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Laura Stewart-Beach, ONE SEPTA President

I was born and raised in East Amherst, New York. I was diagnosed as a child as having Learning Disabilities such as    Dyslexia and ADD, ADHD, this was back when they knew very little about Dyslexia and how to treat it. When I was in my teens I had a passion for children with disabilities and worked in a therapeutic riding program at a local barn. To this day, I recall two of the children that had a major impact on my life one suffered from Muscular Dystrophy and the other had Cerebral Palsy. It was the toughest part of my week as my heart always broke for these two children specifically and the lesson I learned is there was always hope, as at the end of a session they were able to walk when the rest of their lives were spent in a wheel chair.  

I then proceeded to have a son, our miracle and surprise, in September of 2001 Garett who was born and had learning disabilities partially as a result of pregnancy complications and genetics. He was diagnosed in pre-school with multiple disabilities and required early intervention services. Upon having him tested and with the results I knew my life would need to focus on seeing his disabilities were attended to. We currently are a part of the Starpoint School District but our son attends St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Kenmore New York and doing very well. 

I bring to the table a unique perspective, as our son attended the public-school system up till the end of 7th grade when we made the transition to the private/catholic school system. I see how both work and the differences. We still have all our IEP and Committee for Special Education meetings in the Ken-Ton Union Free School District. I feel it is critical for parents to know their special education directors and school districts and that they work in collaboration together to meet the needs of the child. I also feel at times compromise must occur for the welfare of the child we hope that ONE SEPTA will be able to be a resource for parents, guardians and anyone in seeking information, education, and support. For administrators and teachers, we hope you too will join us as we all work together for the welfare of educating the child.

            To all we say Welcome and hope to see you at our workshops and meetings.