Ms. Lilian P. Ansari is parent to two children with special needs. She is an advocate at CASE (Community Alliance for Special Education) and the Brain Recovery Project as well as the Parent Education mentor and Community Alliance Chair at Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance of California. She is a SEAT (Special Education Advocacy
Training) Graduate and a member of COPAA (Council of Parent and Attorney Advocates).
After earning her Master of Science degree in Psychology, Ms. Ansari spent nearly 20 years working with various
non-profits and school districts. She has spent the last 12 years advocating for the needs of children with special healthcare needs.
In January, PRAISE will kick off its Neurodiversity Speaker Series with an IEP workshop for
parents, led by special-needs advocate Lilian P. Ansari.
For most parents, getting educational support for kids with disabilities or learning differences is
a complex process. It requires the development of an IEP (Individualized Education Program),
with multiple assessments, reports, and meetings. Communication with teachers and
administrators about the plan can be awkward and full of jargon. The IEP itself is a legal
document, and a sensitive personal narrative. Often, parents feel that they’re missing some of
the information they need to feel confident that the plan is clear, complete, and appropriate.
PRAISE is here to help. Run by a dedicated group of parent volunteers, PRAISE is a resource for
families in the special education community. They have invited Ms. Ansari to talk to parents
about the do’s and don’ts of the IEP process. Workshop attendees will learn how to read the
different parts of the IEP, participate meaningfully in meetings, and understand their rights.
They will also learn what questions to ask when their kids need additional supports or
Lilian Ansari has worked as a school counselor, therapist, and social worker for more than 20
years, and as a special needs advocate for more than 12. She is on the board of directors of the
Developmental Disabilities Council, and Vice President of the board for Regional Center East
Bay. More importantly, she is also a parent of two children with special needs herself, and has
worked on IEPs from both sides of the table.
She believes that, if you know your rights, you don’t need to have an anxious or adversarial
relationship with the school district. Her workshop is designed to give parents the tools to make
the IEP into a shared vision. A Q&A session also gives them a chance to discuss specific concerns
among a supportive group of peers.
January 10, 7:00-8:30pm
Havens Elementary School Library
323 Highland Ave.
- Download Event Handout