It Begins Today.

Your success at work.

  Your child's success in school.

About You

When your child is struggling in school and at home, so are you.
The work/life challenges are real, impacting careers, finances, and health, stretching you and your resources thin. 
When a special needs diagnosis comes into play, navigating through school and special education requires more of you and also requires expertise to help. And for many working parents, issues related to securing flexible work options, working caregiver bias, and accessing benefits and supports also emerge.
Whether your child has been newly-diagnosed or struggling for some time, we'll decipher the issues, detail the options, and determine next steps. And because school issues often continue for years and frequently intensify, exceptional caregiving and conflicting responsibilities become the norm.
Our work together will increase your competence and confidence so you can effectively advocate for your child's individual needs in school, no matter their age, grade, or diagnosis. We'll also address the work/life challenges associated with managing and addressing your child's chronic and crisis school-based issues.
Your time is limited.  You need answers and solutions.  We'll address them together.
A few scenarios:

Your child is failing to make progress or has regressed...academically, socially, or behaviorally.


New issues have emerged or intensified at school or home, whether gradually or suddenly.


Reluctance or refusal to attend school or class have developed, impacting attendance, GPA & health.

Grades have dropped and work completion including homework and classwork has decreased.

Communication with school has increased or contact with your college student has decreased.

Discussions about post-high school plans are not going smoothly and college plans are in flux.

Work and family responsibilities and conflicts are leading to difficult choices and decisions. 

Every day is a new challenge, with chronic and crisis issues becoming the norm.


 It may be time to retain a specialist. 

If this is your child:
Autism Spectrum
Learning Differences
Mental Health
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 Here are some of the ways I can help you:

Reviewing and explaining your child's education documents including evaluation reports

Evaluating IEPs/504s and developing measurable goals, modifications & accommodations

Collaborating with your school team, independent clinicians, service providers & attorneys

✓ Evaluating class and school placement options including out-of-district placements

✓ Participating in initial or ongoing IEP/504/GIEP meetings and discussions

✓ Providing guidance on data collection and interpretation

✓ Assisting with transition planning including college

Preparing for college including student coaching

✓ Coaching on effective advocacy strategies

✓ Research and referrals

And coaching on proposing flexible work options, handling caregiver bias, and managing

the chronic and crisis issues that often require difficult work/life decisions.


About Me

Education advocate and work/life consultant to working parents with children from K-college graduation with learning differences, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, mental health issues, and giftedness.  Coach families and teens, with and without learning needs, on college selection, preparation, essays and transition planning.

Founder/CEO of Education Navigation, an HR consulting firm that provided employee benefits, training and coaching to working parents with children/teens in special education including on flexible work options, supporting working parents/caregivers in the workplace, and hidden bias.

Nonprofit consultant on issues including youth homelessness, food insecurity, foster and at-risk youth.


My approach brings well-honed business skills to the complex educational arena, combining extensive training and expertise in IDEA/ADA, regulations and processes, independent and school evaluations, hidden disabilities, college accommodations, and mental health with 20 years of corporate experience in work/life integration, human resources, and communications. 

Our work together will focus on your immediate needs while addressing short and long-term strategies and solutions including your work/life challenges.  We'll begin wherever you are in the process.

How can I help?

College Coaching, Preparation & Transition

With over 15 years of experience working with high school students and their families, the road to college is the start of a new phase of life for everyone.  Excitement and stress are hallmarks of the high school years with college on the horizon.

My coaching style is relaxed, focusing first on the student's goals, expectations, and readiness.  Discussing options, issues, and decisions in close collaboration with parents is integral to the entire college preparation and transition process.

As a college prep instructor, providing relevant information, guidance, and support helps to alleviate the pressures that accompany the entire college preparation process. With a core focus on college essays, individual time is spent helping students find their "voice" in their writing.

We'll work together starting wherever your family may be in the process, keeping a keen eye on timelines, deadlines, and all other relevant factors to help ensure a smooth college preparation path for you and your child.

Member:  PA Association for College Admission Counseling




Individual special education consultations to discuss your child's school needs via telephone, e-mail, or video conference with you and/or your spouse/partner.

Monthly Support

Coaching and advocacy support, ongoing or as needed.  Brief discussions or extensive consultations.  Chronic or crisis issues.  Collaboration with your child's school team and/or independent clinicians.  Packages available.

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Document Review

Comprehensive review of your child's key educational documents (i.e. IEPs, 504s, Evaluation Reports, independent evaluation reports) and a post-file review telephone consultation.


Coaching on flexible work options, hidden bias, supports for working mothers, and caregiving strategies for working parents.  Training, workshops, and management advisory services for family-friendly companies.

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"Debra is, without a doubt, one of the most valuable resources you can find.  I highly recommend her - you will not find anyone better."

—  Dad, CEO, Pharmaceutical Industry

A few more things...


From our initial conversation, our work together will begin where you are in the process, whether we collaborate for one consultation or ongoing, virtually or on-site.  A confidentiality agreement will be provided as well.


Permission will be granted only by you for discussions with members of your child's school-based team, independent clinicians, or others.


Documents may only be submitted if a Document Review process is requested and conducted. 


Your initial, 30-minute telephone consultation is at no cost, scheduled at your convenience.  Daytime, evening, or weekends.


I look forward to speaking with you.





101 E. Gay Street, #35

West Chester, PA  19380


Tel: 484.920.8284

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© 2020 Debra Isaacs Schafer