Meet the Panelists on Parenting the Special Needs Child
Four tenacious, motivational and engaged special needs Moms rounded out the panel and inspired the audience with their vulnerability, authenticity and shareable wisdom in raising their children. The event was Parenting the Special Needs child, presented by RCAP.
Susanna Peace Lovell is a UC Berkeley graduate and a certified professional life coach and advocate dedicated to the health and wellness of special needs families everywhere. Her own daughter, Arizona, has multiple challenges and diagnoses, including autism spectrum disorder, ADHD and food allergies.
In addition to coaching individual clients and families, Susanna also sits on the board of directors of Cheerful Helpers Child & Family Study Center, consults on various projects as a subject matter expert for autism and special needs parenting, and is working on her first memoir. She blogs about her life and experiences at www.susannapeacelovell.com.
Georgianna Junco-Kelman is the principal and managing attorney at The Law Offices of Georgianna Junco-Kelman. Ms. Kelman was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States at the age of 9 years old. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Law, from the University of California at Los Angeles, graduating with Departmental Honors. She earned her Juris Doctorate at the Whittier College of Law in Los Angeles, California.
Ms. Kelman’s personal journey with her first child, Brandon, born in 2002 with a physically and developmentally impacting brain deformity, ultimately brought her to the path of special education law. Inspired by her own experiences with her little boy, and after meeting countless families desperately in need of support navigating the very daunting and tumultuous waters of the special education system, Ms. Kelman immersed herself in special education law, ultimately founded the Law Offices of Georgianna Junco-Kelman in 2008, exclusively dedicated to the representation of students with disabilities.
Karen M. Park, a Principal at Bernstein Private Wealth Management, provides investment planning and investment management services to high net worth individuals, families and foundations. She has particular expertise in the area of planning for special needs children and is the co-author of Bernstein’s whitepaper on special needs planning.
Karen is the mother to three beautiful boys, including one who has complex special needs (http://milosjourney.com/). She is an advocate with a passion for AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) and PODD (Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display). Karen is also a pioneer in the advocacy of undiagnosed disorders, and is an Advisor to MyGene2.org.
Karen earned a BA, magna cum laude, in Social Studies from Harvard University in 1993 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1997.
Jillian Lauren is a writer, storyteller, mom, rock-wife, and Los Angeleno, by way of Jersey. She’s the New York Times bestselling author of the memoirs EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED, and SOME GIRLS: My Life in a Harem, and the novel PRETTY. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, and Elle, among others. She is a regular storyteller on The Moth and blogs at jillianlauren.com. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.
The event was supported by several corporate sponsors interested in special needs advocacy, including:
Rejuvenation Center (Medical Day Spa)
Double Ivy Tutoring
Enrico Cuini (Fine Italian Footwear)
Christine Hayworth (Personal Styling)
Food 2 Die For (Catering)
Charles & Company (Fine Teas)
Merryland Dance Studio
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