My name is Bethany Goddard and I’m a Special Needs Consultant.
In a way, I didn’t choose this work, it chose me. Both of my kids have special needs of their own. I learned “in the trenches” while fighting to get them the help they needed.
The hours of research and phone time it took to find resources, medical and therapeutic professionals, and education choices were staggering. As a stay-at-home mom, I was able to take the time I needed, though not without difficulty. Once those appointments were lined up and meetings arranged, I found myself overwhelmed with intimidation. I learned quickly that the professionals don’t always give a lot of information, they tend to want you to blindly follow their instructions. School systems commonly find all the loopholes they can around the laws regarding accommodations and evaluations differently abled children may require. I began to get frustrated and angry. Finally I decided to do something. After all, these were MY children. I wasn’t going to just take anybody’s word for it. I was in charge, I knew my kids better than anyone and these people were here to help me—not the other way around.
I became a Guardian ad Litem (GAL), where I completed over 50 hours of training. If you’re not familiar, these are volunteers appointed by the court to represent the best interests of the child in court proceedings. I worked with special needs children in the foster care system. Along the way, I realized the huge need for people who care about and want to help special needs families. After seeing the positive impact on the lives of these kids, I decided to go full time into special needs consulting.
Now, I work closely with families one on one as they navigate their child’s ever growing list of needs. Educating and supporting families and empowering parents to advocate for their children is my passion. I get to do what I wish someone could have done for me.