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Thriving in the Midst of Chaos: Parenting With Special Needs Kids

Feb 27, 2020

Episode 24: Finding a Family Navigator with Guest Colette Cox

In this episode, we discuss family navigators. Colette explains that family navigators are people who can help you navigate through and find resources for your child who has special needs and for your family. They are people who can support you when no one else is able. They can help with referrals, education, and 1:1 planning. They know all the ins and outs of everything special needs, and they have been through it all themselves. Family navigators can even attend IEP meetings with you if desired. Some have created peer mentor services as well. She noted that she feels that the hardest system to navigate is the school system. To navigate the school system, it is important to learn how to communicate your vision for school and your child's future. When attending an IEP meeting, it can be helpful to bring notes that you have prepared, bring information about what your child excels at, and be an active participant. Find other parents who have been through this, and utilize Facebook groups, podcasts, and youtube videos that can help you navigate the school system. To help realize your vision of the future, think of your goals and then create next steps. For states that don't have a peer navigator, consider going to your county boards or bureaus of special health needs and asking why this doesn't exist in your area. Parent to parent USA, also has helpful resources.


Colette Cox
Podcast: Building Buchanan

National Community of Practice
Charting the Life Course 
Wright's Law
Parent to Parent USA

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Show Music:

Intro Outro: Intro Outro 2 by Mattias Lahoud under CC-BY 3.0 License (
Theme Song: 90s rock style by monkeyman535 under CC-BY 3.0 License (
Self Care Song: Green and Orange No Water by Duncan Alex under CC-BY 3.0 License (

Hosted by: Jessica Temple and Lewis Temple

Disclaimer: Our show is not designed to provide listeners with specific or personal legal, medical, or professional services or advice. Parents of children with health issues should always consult their health care provider for medical advice, medication, or treatment.

Copyright 2020 Jessica and Lewis Temple