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Meet creative Brooklyn mom and special education consultant, Mandy Vadnai

Meet Mandy Vadnai, Brooklyn mom of two teenage daughters and founder of NYC Special Education Advising. Mandy recently launched a consulting company designed to help families navigate the special education world, in and around NYC, finding schools and programs that match your child’s strengths and needs. Find out about her life in Brooklyn and her business.

Your job title: Special Education School + Program Advisor

Your work in one sentence: I offer a consulting service helping parents and guardians navigate the special education world in and around NYC, finding public and private schools that match their children’s strengths and needs. Throughout my time working in schools, I have witnessed the frustrations and roadblocks families often face if their children require additional supports or attributes their current school does not provide. This landscape is often opaque and confusing. I really seek to offer a partnership in which I collaborate with families to help make the process feel a little less overwhelming while providing support for the whole journey. I draw on 20 years of experience as a special education teacher, a school leader and an NYC parent to advise people on programs and settings. While I cannot guarantee a placement in a specific program, I can connect families with schools, make sure that people know their best options and fully understand each program considered. I have even helped find boarding schools, camps, live-in caregivers, and after-school classes!

Your children: I have two teenage daughters who go to public school in NYC.

Where do your kids go to school: My 13 year old is finishing up her last year at Community Roots Middle School and just submitted the application to 12 public high schools (fingers crossed!). My 16 year old is a junior at Millennium High School in Manhattan.

Which neighborhood do you live in: We recently moved from Clinton Hill to Ditmas Park for a little more space and to be closer to the park, which has been really nice for a bit of a slower pace, morning walks and bike rides (but I still miss Clinton Hill’s energy!).

What do you love about living in Brooklyn: Well, as an NYC native I’m not sure I can live anywhere else! But, for me, living in Brooklyn is all about the interesting people we have met along the way who share a common interest in trying new things, traveling, eating good food, going to hear music and experiencing cultural moments whenever possible.

More information about your business: I work with families in two formats: Option 1: Individualized Advisory Report – A packaged plan where we meet to discuss your child’s specific needs and learning profile. The end result is a detailed tiered school report geared toward your family’s requirements, needs and goals. Option 2: Hourly Consultation – Choosing the time allotment that works for you, we can discuss your child’s learning profile, your questions, goals and review special education programs in and around NYC. Have questions? Want to learn more? Set up a free 20 minute consultation or schedule your first session.

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