This episode’s guest is Ysela Heim, an Exceptional Student Consultant, (or advocate as many of us refer to her role) serving Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties in Florida. She can be contacted via her website or email and  

Use this handy guide to help define some of the terms we mention during the show. Also, hablamos MUY rapido! If you were able to keep up, we are officially impressed. 

  • Baudhuin Preschool The Mailman Segal Center’s Baudhuin Preschool, located on the main campus of Florida’s Nova Southeastern University is an internationally recognized, model program for children with autism spectrum disorder. The program is offered in partnership with the School Board of Broward County, Florida. Collaborative opportunities with other NSU departments in academics, research, and clinical work enrich the educational experience. Brenda’s son Oliver attended.
  • Collaborative Advocacy is an approach to advocating for children with disabilities that utilizes collaborative problem-solving skills and relationship-strengthening strategies to resolve disagreements. Individuals who practice Collaborative Advocacy voluntarily adhere to ten guiding principals. Our guest Ysela Heim was instrumental in creating this terrific, promising guide.
  • FSA Florida Standards Assessment; Florida’s hateful standardized test that replaced another hateful standardized test called the FCAT (aka the f-that); makes teachers want to quit their jobs; makes parents want to jump off of a bridge; makes student “learning” about teaching to a test; #FLisOVERit
  • Giborim U a genius outreach of summer Camp Giborim located in Cooper City, Florida; provides extracurricular activities for the special needs community including fitness, the arts, sports, recreation, life skills, and health and wellness. Brenda and Ysela’s sons HAPPILY attend.
  • IEP short for Individualized Education Plan; simply stated, once your child has an evaluation for special education, this document is created using input from the parent, a special education teacher, and other professionals who team up to form your child’s unique educational goals; revisited annually; The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal law, requires certain information to be included in the IEP but doesn’t specify how the IEP should look. This is where an advocate can help tremendously.
  • McKay Scholarship The McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program is the State of Florida’s version of school choice; eligible students may attend qualifying public or private schools to best fit their needs; check out these FAQ for details.

Contact: Louis (“Lou”) Ruccolo, Supervisor, ESE Transition Services

Office: (754) 321-3430  Fax:    (754) 321-3439 Cell:   (954) 804-3267


More promising practices from Broward Schools

  • SFACS South Florida Autism Charter Schools located in Hialeah, Florida is a K-12 charter school for children on the spectrum. SFACS’ forward thinking and innovative programming have proven unstoppable: the school moves to a brand spankin’ new campus this 2018-2019 school year.
  • Shit Miami Girls Say HELLO! Stop eating shit and watch these hilarious YouTube videos that defined Kristi’s college years and cemented The Disorderly Blondes’ vocabulary. The thing is, you know, the thing, is that #shitmiamigirlssay does NOT smell like caca. Irregardless, there is NOTHING wrong with “just go[ing] to F.I.U.” Bro, it is SUPER!

THIS JUST IN: Shit Miami Girls Say es un POD CAST*!? The Disorderly Blondes are SUPER pissed they didn’t get that memo no PUEDEN talk about it right now! ¡Imagínate y que pena! Brenda y Kristi now officially subscribe to two podcasts y ya.

  • Sibshops from their website because…so cute: Sibshops are pedal-to-the-metal events where [kids] will meet other sibs (usually for the first time), have fun, laugh, talk about the good and not-so-good parts of having a sib with special needs, play some great games, learn something about the services their brothers and sister receive, and have some more fun. Kristi’s 11 YO son Jackson has attended killer Sibshops events through JAFCO. Find or start a Sibshops near you!
  • Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab or VR) is a federal-state program that helps people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job. VR is committed to helping people with disabilities find meaningful careers; one applies for services via one of the area/unit offices.