What our clients say
Jane was an informed, dedicated, astute, compassionate advocate for our son and family when we were seeking reimbursement for therapeutic boarding school for our son who has high functioning autism. Having exhausted all local educational possibilities, she helped us open up a dialogue, present and win our case with our school district. She helped us get reimbursed for an environment that changed the course of our son’s life.
Through her skill sets, experience, fortitude, tenacity, and stick-to-it-iveness Jane Dubovy made it possible for my twin sons to be released from a well-known and “respected” educational school system that had failed them and their special needs. The Beverly Hills school system dug all the way into another county to pull out the “big guns” to deny my boys the rights they were entitled to by state and federal law. Fortunately, Jane’s reputation preceded her and she was able to work around this. Not only did she succeed, my sons were placed where they were able to receive the maximum attention they were owed, and there they have blossomed into great students with phenomenal social skills. This was at the expense of the Beverly Hills school system, where they not only paid my sons’ tuition, but also included transportation to and from school daily. They now are both in college doing quite well, active within their peer group and Eagle Scouts. I humbly submit I am in Jane’s debt forever.
Our son is 8 years old in the first grade. For 2 years he was in a private preschool. We enrolled him in our neighborhood public kindergarten at age 5. We knew that our son had a disability but we didn’t realize that he was entitled to educational support from our school district. All during his first year he was having many difficulties with attention and behavior. At the end of the year we decided to hold him back one year to see if this helped. During his next school year he had the same difficulties. We sent in his nanny to help him during the school day. It did help but she wasn’t trained as a school aide and she was a bit out of her element. That’s when we found A2Z Educational Advocates. We telephoned the office and were immediately made to feel as if our child’s needs were their top priority. We had an appointment within days which led to our retention of their services. They came to our IEP meetings (I didn’t even know what an IEP was). With their assistance we were able to get a full time 1:1 trained school aide, additional services for speech and occupational therapy and resource. They also helped us to get reimbursed for the money spent sending the nanny to the school. We have been very pleased with our representation by A2Z and won’t go to any IEP meetings without them.
I turned to A2Z because I needed help in finding someone that would advocate on behalf of my daughter. Though she’s eligible under SLD, we’d been trying to get IEP for two years with no success. That’s when Jane stepped in and took the reigns. Our first step of action was to file due process against seven different entities that did not acknowledge my daughter’s learning disability. It was frustrating as we received no response at all from the District of Inglewood and finally had to force them to provide educational services. We were able to receive settlements reimbursements for past placements, non- public school (NPS) placement (at the cost of over $35,000 per year funded by Inglewood and independent evaluations done by experts. Next, Jane helped us to file due process for another year of NPS, and going even further, Jane got my daughter placed into a transition program at UCLA. Right now, we’re undergoing further steps to make sure everything is in order for her 2015-2016 program. I could not have imagined taking care of so much, so efficiently without the help of Jane.
A2Z accomplished what other prominent advocates told me could not be done. They procured LAUSD funding for my son’s out-of-state placement in a therapeutic residential boarding school, when all else had failed. Without them, my son would not have benefited from the intensive program he required, to achieve his fullest potential. We are indebted to Jane, Carrie and Team A2Z’s strategic brilliance and empathic dedication.
I am the parent of a 14-year-old son with Autism and other issues. It has been a long, hard road finding a classroom to fit his needs. We have been all over the San Fernando Valley, changing schools or classes nearly every year since kindergarten. Jane DuBovy and Carrie Watts started assisting us in this battle almost at the beginning with their expert advice, seemingly photographic memories, encyclopedic knowledge of special education laws, and helpful referrals to other experts. Because of Jane and Carrie, I always feel like there is hope to find a realistic solution to our myriad special needs-related problems. They are creative, caring and smart. They consistently stun me by remembering little details of my son’s life and education that I don’t remember! To sum it all up, they have helped us a great deal.
Our family first contracted A2Z Educational Advocates to assist us in finding a placement for our 8th grade student diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. He had attended private school for his elementary and middle school years but we were certain that the local public high school would be too overwhelming for him. When I met with Jane at A2Z she asked if our family would like to be reimbursed for the prior two years of private school. We did not even know this was a possibility and were very interested as that amounted to over $80,000. We are grateful for the strategies A2Z employed on our behalf. We are currently working with them again for the next phase in our fight against LAUSD.
I was fortunate to learn about A2Z Education Advocates at a critical time. My son, a 5th grader, had been diagnosed with ADD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) and, eventually, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Although he qualified for special education services under the category of Other Health Impaired (OHI), Inglewood schools had no understanding of nor tolerance for an intelligent child with behavior problems that only escalated as teachers punished, humiliated and bullied him. With my son on the brink of expulsion from elementary school, Jane from A2Z educated all at the table about requirements of the District to conduct assessments and to hold a manifestation determination hearing to consider my son’s maladaptive behaviors in light of his disabilities. Subsequently, the IEP team worked on developing a behavior plan, provided supervised behavior assistance, created a social skills lunch club and allowed for accommodations for homework and test taking. My son was able to graduate from elementary school.
The middle school environment was even more damaging to my child, emotionally and academically, due to a school environment unable to respond appropriately to behavior challenges such as those he exhibited. The next time I needed A2Z was when my son was again facing expulsion as an 8th grader. Once again Jane was there at the manifestation determination hearing where it was agreed that his behaviors continued to be due to his disability. Behavior services were increased to include a daily 1:1 aide, behavior supervision, a “safe” room for him when his behaviors became out of control, and more accommodations. He changed middle schools to start over with these services in place. It soon became apparent that these services came too late; my son, now a teenager, was beyond my control, was rebelling against the school environment and the District couldn’t do anything either. I was worried about gang influences and that he might get hurt or commit a crime and be sent to jail. Frankly, I was scared for his life. A2Z filed a due process complaint searching for an appropriate therapeutic residential placement for my son. It took months of back and forth to reach a settlement. Then A2Z had to file a compliance complaint with the State to force the District to honor the settlement. Finally, my son was placed in his residential therapeutic center. This facility focuses on reactive attachment disorders as the primary cause of maladaptive behaviors. I could not have afforded to send my child to this type of setting with its caring 24/7 support; the annual cost approximated $130,000. A2Z forced the District to fund the approximately $130,000 per year tuition and related services.
It had been years since I had been able to get a full night’s sleep, worry-free. Now, I have much more peace of mind. My son is in a safe environment with well-trained teachers, therapists and other staff devoted to helping youth with disabilities such as his. My son is making changes. Progress is slow, but he has had 15 years to develop bad habits and to have his self-esteem torn down by those who do not understand. It will take some time to eliminate those destructive habits and reactions, to recover and to succeed in life, using more positive ways to cope. His grades have improved and so has his attitude. I visit the facility as often as allowed and based upon what I can afford. My son and I, with the expertise of the RTC, are working together toward the day when he can return home— sooner than later, I hope. I am so blessed to have found A2Z Educational Advocates. School districts count on parents not being fully knowledgeable about the rights of their children. A2Z fought to hold the Inglewood USD accountable. Jane and A2Z helped me tremendously to save my son from gangs, jail. . . or worse.