Meet the SEAD team!
I am one of the founders of SEAD, a married mother of 3 wonderful kids and with a long career in technical fields unrealted to education. Our eldest son is off on his own at 26, and a successful musician. Our next two, 13 and 14, are currently in MIddle School at Dexter. Our middle child is diagnosed with ASD and is successfully maintreamed in Dexter, where he has been since diagnosis. Our youngest and eldest are nuero typical children, all educated in Dexter Community Schools.
SEAD began in my hometown of Dexter, Michigan as mothers looking to share some time with others on this same road of special education - there's no SE PTA and our issues are not all shared by other parents. SEAD began as a local support group which met for fun, fellowship and to see what we could do together as a group to make a better program and an easier journey. We migrated meetings from the local watering hole to the local school and began meeting with our district. The laughter and support I found with this group carried over to the meetings with the distrct and helped support our shared wish to work collaboratively with our school district. We found a very willing partner in our local Dexter Special Education Director Batb Santos, without whom we would not have found our mission.
After we were underway with our local meetings, the Michigan Department of Educaiton Office of Special Education (MSE-OSE), decided to try and change the rules for special education in Michigan. A careful advocate read the rules and reached out to let me know the changes proposed were very serious, not mild as the MDE-OSE had stateed on their web site. That began a year long effort to stop the rules changes. Known as The Group of 10,000 - for the strength of our petition - this movement of parents and advocates worked very hard to stop these odious changes, which were far more serious than they had been described. In that process, it became clear that parents needed to have a collective voice - and we were the only folks in this entire process that didn't have one. So the state wide group was formed and became SEAD.
Now SEAD is working hard to be that voice of parents and families, to provide a strong voice on all things to do with special education in Michigan, though the power of collective parent and family voices. It is a privledge for me to head up this organization and move into this next chapter of my life working for all our kids to have a brighter future.