About My Education Advocate

We are passionate about ensuring children receive the right education they deserve.

My Mission

My mission is to make a difference in the lives and families of individuals with special needs and educational disabilities.

my education advocate near me

I believe all children are born with great potential. Each adult in a child’s world must work to ensure that there are meaningful educational and experiential opportunities to foster that potential.

As your special education advocate, I will work vigorously to secure the free appropriate public education that your child’s public-school system is required to provide.

My approach will be child-centered and collaborative. I will work to foster positive partnerships between you and the school system using my professional knowledge and experience working in the special education system.

While courtesy is a ‘must-have’ when negotiating, you will find I am a straight-talker, with both parents and professional educators alike. It’s all about getting a student the services/support they need in order to be the best student they can be.

Meet Your Advocate

education advocate

Kristen Heyniger, M.A./Ed Owner & Educational Advocate

As a retired special education teacher and program coordinator for the past 35 years, she will assist you in navigating the complicated special education maze.

She has made it her mission to educate and empower parents of children with special education needs in obtaining the free, appropriate educational placement for their child.

Her determined approach is collaborative and student-centered. She will work tirelessly to foster positive partnerships between you, the parent and the school system using her professional knowledge, straight/direct communication and negotiating skills.

Special Education Qualifications & Experience

  • Certified in

    • Restorative Practices
    • Response Ability Pathways (RAP)
    • Crisis Prevention Training (CPT)
    • Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PIBS)
    • Advanced Professional Teaching Certificate K-12 in special education with Reading Specialist endorsement
  • Degrees

    • M.Ed. Special Education and Transition, George Washington University
    • B.A. Special Education, Wittenberg University
  • School Experience

    • 34 years as a career special educator K-12
    • 20 years High School special education program coordinator for students diagnosed with social, emotional, and behavior disabilities
    • 7 years as high school Transition Support Services coordinator serving students with learning disabilities, intellectual & physical disabilities
    • 3 years as Director of special education support services at American School in Rio de Janerio, Brazil
    • 4 years middle school special education co-teacher and Resource Room teacher
  • Expertise

    • Extensive knowledge of special education eligibility process
    • Experience and expertise in case management,
    • Experience and expertise in program design
    • Experience and expertise in the IEP process
    • Served as chair-person for secondary school-wide discipline team
    • Served as supervising teacher & mentor for student teachers from University of Maryland and Trinity College, Washington D.C.
  • Awards and Recognition

    • Initiated and conducted support groups for parents of students with identified learning issues & needs at The American School in Rio de Janerio, Brazil
    • Invited to speak at Board of Education meeting in June 2017 about educating students with mixed disabilities

    1997-2017-

    • Recipient of program excellence awards given by school administrations
    • Recipient of program excellence awards given by program supervisors
    • Recipient of program excellence awards given by Parent Teacher Associations
    • Recipient of program excellence awards given by Special Needs Executive Committees

Professional Organizations

“Keep us at tasks too hard; Make sure of the good we cannot see; save us from ourselves, and show us a vision of a world made new”.
-Eleanor Roosevelt