The primary reason I created SAGE-WITHIN-us was to help parents and educators increase the likelihood that children with disabilities will learn more and reach their full potentials. This is very important for me, because I have been fortunate enough to reap the benefits of receiving a good education in spite of my severe motor impairment and severe speech impairment. Some of these benefits have included being able to have conversations, going to college, budgeting money, being gainfully employed, paying my bills on time, owning my own van, owning property, planning vacations, emailing friends, understanding novels, and other things. Some individuals with disabilities may not be able to accomplish some of these things, and it is perfectly okay. On the other hand, children with disabilities deserve the best education, enabling them to be as cognitively functional as they can be in adulthood. In turn, they will be able to experience more enjoyments in life.
Although I get great satisfaction from providing my services to families, educators, and companies, it is also important for me to earn to support myself. While figuring out my fees, I always struggle with maintaining the delicate balance between making my services affordable and compensating myself enough. I may spend only one hour at a home visit, but I may spend up to six hours writing a report for the parents afterward. If my fees seem unreasonable, try to think about the work I put in behind the scene. Also, I have a doctorate in developmental psychology, and other professionals of this caliber usually charge more.
SAGE-WITHIN-us is a multifaceted business, offering a variety of services. Within each service, I tailor my approach and delivery models to the person's unique needs. For instance, some parents want me to work mostly with their children's educational team at school whereas others want home-based consultations. I have also worked with children both at home and school. I do this individualizing within several service models which are described below.
These descriptions are based on what I typically do within my existing services, but I may do some things differently depending on a variety of circumstances. For example, one school has liked me meeting with the team to answer their questions, but another educational team has liked me to put everything in the reports and not to meet after school. If I haven't had a service model that I could adapt to meet someone's needs, I have created a new service specifically for that person or group. This takes me a while to figure out the details. Your patience is appreciated. Of course, I will be honest if I do not feel qualified or comfortable with providing a service.
It is important to realize that I am not a certified teacher. Although I do create developmentally appropriate learning activities in pre-literacy, literacy, basic math, and self-advocacy, I am not qualified to create a home schooling program that covers all of the academic subjects and grade levels. However, I can help a home-based teacher learn the special accommodations that a child may need. For example, I have stressed the importance of pausing longer so that child with a neurological condition has the time to coordinate their movements to respond in their own ways.
In addition to doing consultations, I have made presentations at conferences, centers, and universities. I also tailor those talks for specific audiences.