Seetha is trained in advocacy by the Federation for Children with Special Needs and worked several tough cases pro bono before charging for her services. Her clients today include children of all ages from preschool to high school, with challenges including ASD, complex trauma, emotional disabilities, ADHD, executive function issues, specific learning disabilities, Down’s syndrome, communication impairments, medical issues, and behavioral issues. Her volunteer services include serving on the Special Needs Advocacy Network (SPaN) board of directors, working the Helpline at the Massachusetts Advocates for Children and serving as a special education surrogate parent for children in state custody. Seetha has testified before the Joint Committee for Higher Education and conducted workshops for the Federation in the metro Boston area. She put in 12 or more hours a year of education and training to stay current on changes in special education.
Seetha grew up in Mumbai where she earned a BA in sociology. After coming to the US, she earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from Purdue University and became an Assistant Professor, teaching analytic philosophy and applied ethics to undergraduates and master’s students. She spent many years applying and teaching principles of logic, and assessing and making a case are second nature to her. She brings those skills to analyzing reports, IEPs and other school records, to identify things that the school may have missed, to highlight inferences that don’t follow from the data, to assess whether the IEP is designed to teach needed skills, to examine whether the placement seems like the right one. When making a case she ensures her facts are accurate and her arguments strong, and prepares to address any objections that might get raised. She bring these qualities into school meetings, where much more is at stake for a child than a theoretical point.
Seetha left academia because she wanted work in the larger world. She moved to the Boston area with her husband and became a freelance journalist. It was rewarding to explore Greater Boston looking for stories, ask questions, be curious, and listen to the insights and experiences of all kinds of people. These skills are invaluable when she interacts with school staff, observes children in school, makes phone calls gathering information and writes to schools on behalf of parents. They help get to the heart of the story about the child’s situation.
Seetha’s advocacy work started when a child in her own community needed it. She waded in without any training and successfully negotiated with the child’s school. Her past experience as a logician, teacher, public speaker and journalist all came together in a very satisfying way for this success. So she decided to pursue advocacy as a career.
Seetha serves clients within a 50-mile radius of Boston. Payment plans and sliding-scale fees are available.
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Seetha was a tremendous help in advocating for our son in his elementary school. She researched his needs and located just the right research study to show the school team how to address his academic needs. During the meeting at the school, she was professional and friendly, but also direct and assertive when advocating for what our son needed. She asks the “hard questions.” I can’t thank her enough for her help in getting a plan of study and support in place for our son. We will gladly hire her again should the need arise.