Special Education and Parents as Advocates

What do you do when your vision for your child’s education doesn’t align with what is actually happening in the school house? Join us for a conversation about effective and creative ways to bridge the divide between what educational supports parents believe are best for their special needs children and what schools are actually providing.

Rachel A. Howell, M.Ed., is a founding partner in Copia Consulting LLC and brings more than 22 years of educational, management, and training experience to the company. Rachel has been a lead facilitator in a number of community-wide planning projects, including the RRISD Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative, the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable, and the Mayor’s Mental Health Task Force, all of which involve major social and policy reform efforts that encompass state and local communities. Because of her many years experience in various management positions in health and human services, Rachel has developed a number of skills that allow her to effectively convene leadership and facilitate discussion and debate related to wide-ranging issues.


Raising a child of any type is more art than science, but raising a child who doesn’t fit neatly into any “typically developing” box can be a particularly messy art. Parents of these “Outside the Box” children often ask themselves what is going on with my child and will they grow out of this? Do I need early intervention to help put them on their path to succeed? How can the schools help me? What other resources are available to help? What does a diagnosis mean for our benefits and our family?

Whether your child is diagnosed with special needs, has sensory issues, or their particular challenges have yet to be identified, we’ll explore the means to help you help your child here in the Westlake area.

Each month, through guest speakers and parent discussions, we will explore research, discover and share new techniques and approaches, and identify specific steps that can help you navigate the waters as you help guide your child through the confusing maze of childhood.

This series is targeted toward parents of children throughout the Eanes Independent School District whether in public, private, or home schooling and is open to everyone.