Esther Ortega M.Ed
Owner & Director
Let me begin this journey by introducing myself. My name is Esther, and I have been married for more than 25 years, and I have three grown children, two girls, and a boy. As a parent of three kids, I spent a great deal of my time questioning my parenting choices and like most parent's I wondered if I was doing this whole parenting thing right or if there was more I could be doing? In the back of my mind, I knew that there was no such things as a "perfect parent," but it didn't change the fact that I still wasn't sure I was doing enough or making the right choices for my kids.
I began a career in education as a paraprofessional, which eventually led to my becoming a special education coordinator. During my journey in the educational field, I began to see the need for parent advocacy. It wasn't long before I decided to make a career change and began working as a therapist. While working as a therapist, I provided individual and family therapy. Working with families on a daily basis gave me an insight and a much better understanding of the pain that many families were experiencing and how many times they felt alone and overwhelmed. Whether it was dealing with a child who was experiencing behavioral issues or having to fight with the school for better accommodations for their child with special needs, the frustration was real. During my time as a therapist, I attended numerous IEP meeting, and I was surprised to see that many of the parents weren't familiar with the special education process and didn't understand their parental rights. There was a part of me that was frustrated with the system, and another part of me was questioning what more I could do to help these families. I am a parent. I know how difficult it can be to deal with a child who is struggling in school or having a difficult time regulating his/her emotions. Both of my daughters struggled with anxiety in school, and as a parent, it didn't take me long to question if I had something to do with my girl's emotional struggles. Maybe this was "why" I chose to change careers later in life. If I can help just one parent understand that parenting is hard, and sometimes we can't do it alone. If I can help a family and provide them with the tools necessary to advocate for their children, as well as implement strategies and techniques that will help with more communication and empower self-advocacy, I'm on the right track!
-Esther Ortega M.Ed