Louise is the parent of four children ranging in age from teenagers to early 20’s. Two of her sons have Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is married and lives in the rural part of New York’s Otsego County.
Louise learned to understand how to navigate service systems beginning with involvement in early intervention. It was during that time she recognized the importance of families knowing they are not alone and she began helping other families in obtaining early intervention services. Louise notes that all of her training and knowledge and connections to Parent to Parent of NYS helped tremendously when her niece was born with Down syndrome a few years ago.
Louise became a trained Support Parent in 1998. That year, she attended the international Parent to Parent conference in Atlanta, Georgia. She has participated in trainings on sibling workshops and assisted in hosting sibling workshops for children ages 6-12. For many years, she was the Parent Member for her local school district’s CSE meetings. Louise is a graduate of the 2000 class of Partners in Policymaking. She has completed and received certification in Family and Civil Mediation trainings and many other trainings and workshops involving children with special needs. She continues to assist families with understanding the special education process including attending CSE meetings with them.
Louise has been involved with Parent to Parent since it was incorporated in 1999. She considers Parent to Parent’s Honorary Lifetime Member, Henrietta Messier, her mentor and dear friend.
After struggling for many years trying to obtain help and information for her two oldest sons and having no one to turn to except family, Louise recognizes the importance of helping others. She has wanted to be a part of an organization that would support and connect families of individuals with disabilities. Within Parent to Parent of NYS, Louise has served as a Board Member, Secretary, Treasurer and President.