I am trained in advocacy by the Federation for Children with Special Needs and worked several tough cases pro bono before charging for my services. My 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. My 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. I also conduct workshops for the Federation in the metro Boston area and put in 12 or more hours a year of education and training to stay current on changes in special education.
I grew up in Mumbai where I earned a BA in sociology. After coming to the US, I 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. I spent many years applying and teaching principles of logic, and assessing and making a case are second nature to me. I bring 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 I ensure my facts are accurate and my arguments strong, and prepare to address any objections that come my way. I bring these qualities into school meetings, where much more is at stake for a child than a theoretical point.
I left academia because I wanted work in the larger world. So I moved to the Boston area with my 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 I interact with school staff, observe children in school, make phone calls gathering information and write to schools on behalf of parents. They help get to the heart of the story about the child’s situation.
My advocacy work started when a child in my own community needed it. I waded in without any training and successfully negotiated with the child’s school. I realized my past experience as a logician, teacher, public speaker and journalist all came together in a very satisfying way for this success. So I decided to pursue advocacy as a career.
I serve 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.