Jewish Community Center of Washington, DC

VIRTUAL PARENT SERIES: Navigating Support Services for School-Aged Children in DC

Tuesday, March 1, 2022
8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Edlavitch DCJCC

3 Tuesdays, March 1, 8, and 15, 8:00-9:00 PM
FREE but registration is required

Led by Maria Blaeuer, Director of Programs and Outreach at Advocates for Justice and Education (AJE) and Lauren Siegel, Psy.D, Director of Clinical Services at The Kingsbury Wellness & Learning Group. 

This interactive three-part series is for DC families of school-aged children (ages 4-12) who suspect that their child might benefit from learning and/or behavioral supports. Led by experts in the fields of neuropsychological assessments and education law and advocacy, each part of the series will include a formal presentation followed by lots of time for questions and discussion. The topics covered will include:

Part 1 (March 1): Demystifying the Neuropsychological and Psychoeducational Evaluation Process
How can you gather more information about your child once concerns have been identified? What are the obligations of local government agencies in terms of identification and evaluation, and what does that process look it? What evaluations are out there (public and private) and how do you decide what your child needs? What does a quality evaluation look like at various ages?

Part 2 (March 8): Demystifying Educational and Behavioral Support Services
What kinds of services are available in DC, both public and private? What do terms like "modifications," "accommodations," "specialized instruction" "504 plans" and "IEP" actually mean? What are 
your legal rights in terms to access these things, in both public and private settings? 

Part 3 (March 15): Using the Evaluation Process to Access Supports
Once you have an evaluation and perhaps a diagnosis, what do you do with it? What, if any, legal obligations of schools (public and private) are triggered by an evaluation? How do evaluation recommendations translate into the everyday school setting?

Bring your questions and concerns! We will also introduce avenues for parents to connect and continue to support each other moving forward. 

Advocates for Justice and Education (AJE) is the federally designated Parent Training & Information Center for Washington D.C. AJE’s mission is to empower families, youth, and the community to be effective advocates to ensure that children and youth, particularly those who have special needs, receive access to appropriate education and health services. Read more at

Maria Blaeuer is Director of Programs and Outreach at Advocates for Justice and Education (AJE), the District of Columbia’s federally designated Parent Training and Information Center.  At AJE, in addition to providing parents with direct representation in school discipline and special education matters, she provides parent training and does systematic policy advocacy.  Prior to joining AJE, Maria spent most of her legal career in private practice focusing on special education law and the needs of students with disabilities in low-to-moderate income communities.  As part of that practice, she has provided professional development and continuing education about special education to attorneys, teachers and other service providers in the District of Columbia, Virginia, Massachusetts, Illinois and Pennsylvania.  She brings a unique perspective to this role, having participated in the IEP and special education process as a student with an IEP herself, as a teacher of students with disabilities, as a parent, and, as an attorney for students and families.

The Kingsbury Wellness & Learning Group is a non-profit group of clinicians and educators dedicated to removing barriers and unlocking potential for families with learning and behavior challenges. Through neuropsychological testing, psychotherapy, and other services, we help families gain access to the support they need to succeed at school, work, or home. Our comprehensive evaluation and treatment services are tailored to each individual. We take the time and effort to uncover each person’s strengths and challenges.

Lauren Siegel is a licensed clinical psychologist and is the Director of Clinical Services at The Kingsbury Wellness & Learning Group. She conducts neuropsychological evaluations and provides psychotherapy for children and adolescents. Dr. Siegel’s specialties included ADHD and anxiety, as well as mild to moderate autism. She received her doctorate from the George Washington University and has extensive experience working with children with learning and behavior challenges in school and outpatient settings.