Happy Children


and Advocacy
in Special 



and Coaching

Tropical Leaves

Creating More Compassionate and Equitable Schools for All Children

Social emotional wellness is foundational to happiness and growth but in special education it often takes a backseat to academics. Unfortunately, disabled children are often seen as a collection of deficits and we, as the professionals, are tasked with the job of fixing these deficits for the child to fit into an idealized norm. When we begin from this place of lack, don’t we just set disabled children up to have the emotional challenges that we seek to prevent?  As school professionals, we are often part of this outdated, deficit-based model but there is a better, more joyful path. We can work to mindfully change the educational environment so that our students have space to grow and there is more acceptance and authentic support. Becoming mindful is about learning the techniques but more importantly it is also about being reflective about our own place in an ableist society. When we focus our efforts on supporting social emotional wellness, we naturally move away from trying to fix children, and instead work alongside our students to make schools into more empathetic and equitable places for all of us. Professional development is incomplete if it does not require that we open ourselves up to change. This website was created as a place where we tackle life's bigger questions through professional development and advocacy, so that we can best serve children

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