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Change Your Language: A Week in the Life of PEAK

Change Your Language: A Week in the Life of PEAK

Meet our Parent Advisors: Shirley, Missy, and Cindy!

PEAK Parent Center offers Parent Advising in both English and Spanish. Connections to trained parent advisors who provide individualized information, support, and referrals to families and educators by phone, email, and in-person. Information is available on a variety of topics including the special education process and parent rights, access to inclusive schools and communities, positive behavior supports, transition to adulthood, and much more!

All of PEAK’s Parent Advisors are parents of children with disabilities themselves which helps them to offer experience and peer-to-peer information and expertise.

So, who are PEAK’s Parent Advisors?

Shirley Swope 

Photo of PEAK Parent Advisor Shirley Swope working at her desk

Some of Shirley’s (pictured right) favorite things are: hanging out with her dogs, enjoying the simple things, her family, her friends, and nature.

Shirley says her favorite part of Parent Advising is, “Being able to share in families lives for a moment, helping them gain the information they need right then for their child. I know that they appreciate the honesty and respect PEAK provides with whatever they are dealing with at the time.”

Missy Sieders 

Photo of PEAK Parent Advisor Missy Sieders with her daughter

Missy (pictured right with her daughter) enjoys watching her daughter compete as a member of color guard, helping her other daughter spell/read words when she asks "What does this say?" as well as biking, hiking, and reading.

One of the many reasons Missy loves Parent Advising is, “Helping parents/family members learn that they CAN get supports for their kids and how to go about it while building a relationship with the IEP team.”

Cindy Colwell 

Photo of PEAK Parent Advisor Cindy Colwell working at her computer

Cindy is a mom of three and enjoys spending time with her kids.

Here’s why Cindy likes Parent Advising: “I like feeling like I have helped make things a little easier for families. I hope they feel more empowered to advocate for their kids with the information we provide.”

Each day, PEAK's Parent Advisors help create a new world for the families who come to PEAK. They help each family shift their focus to their child’s strengths, which in turn changes the language they use to think about and describe their child.

How can you get involved with PEAK today?

Change your language: Disability labels focus on what the individual cannot do rather than the person’s abilities. People First Language looks at the individual before the disability. A disability is something that an individual has, not what an individual is.