References, referrals, and accolades.
Just so you know, everything below is 100% true about how I feel about what you have done for us. I should have had the foresight to send this email earlier. Furthermore, it is really only a fraction of what I feel. I have no idea how to put into words the rest. All I can say is you are a wonderful person, a special person, and Mikey’s savior. In reality, you are probably my savior because Mikey had probably always been better off than I ever gave him credit for. You just helped bring it to the surface.
Thank you for everything you do! Mikey is so lucky to have you!
Dear Special Needs NJ,
Just over a year ago,your therapist, Linda started working with our son Mikey. During that year he has made so much progress and I credit Linda for this. Prior to him starting ABA, Mikey was sort of in his own world. Although he had a lot of love in him, he did not share it freely. As I told the school during his last IEP meeting, I finally have my son with me!
Linda has been a miracle for not only Mikey, but my whole family. She has integrated everyone into working together as a unit. She has given me the skills to handle not only Mikey, but all the children as they relate to him.
Linda is always in contact and I can tell how much she cares for Mikey and my family as a whole. She has become part of our family! Mikey absolutely loves her, as do the rest of my children. They are always asking, “When is Miss Linda coming.”
As you are aware, raising a child with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), while still trying to tend to the rest of the family, work, coach and try to find time for ourselves, is not an easy task. Having Linda in our lives has made this whole process much easier.
The day Mikey was diagnosed, I was distraught. I did not think it was fair to him, as he never asked to be brought into this world. Now he had to deal with the potential of having a difficult life. I did not know if he would be an outcast, or not be able to fully function in our highly critical society. Would he get lost by the school system? Would he be able to have a happy life? How selfish was I to want to bring a child into this world, and now he is going to have to deal with this? If I had known on that day that just a few short months later, an angel named Linda would come into his life, and show me that there was nothing to worry about, that day would have went so much different.
The day your BCBA came to our house to introduce your company, He told me that he was going to give Mikey one of your best ABA therapists. You really came through!
I just wanted to take the opportunity to fill you in on everything and let you know just how happy I am with how well everything is going. I am grateful to have been put in contact with you and grateful to have Linda for Mikey.
Chris Giuliani (on behalf of Mikey!)
for Brenda (advocate)
“Thank you again for arranging your schedule to attend the records review today particularly with the pending snow. Your calm professionalism helped it go smoothly. It was very helpful to have you there to expedite the process and to help us understand some of the documents esp. the testing instruments. You are obviously well versed in what to look for and what should be in our child’s educational files. We are sure we couldn’t have done as well without you!”
Dear Special Needs NJ,
Linda tutors my fourteen year old daughter, Theresa, and has worked with her for the past year and one-half. To say that my wife and I are pleased with Linda’s efforts with Theresa would be an understatement. Just to provide some background, Theresa is a special education student in Sparta; she was born with disabilities (Cerebral Palsy) stemming from her four-month premature birth. Learning has been difficult for my daughter. Theresa was floundering until she began with Linda but has shown significant improvement under her tutelage.
In my personal contact with Linda, I have found her to be highly organized and motivated, competent in her area of expertise as a special education teacher and very easy to work with. Lessons at home with my daughter are challenging and well thought out and Theresa looks forward to her sessions. Linda takes a direct no-nonsense approach with my daughter and provides compassionate coaching along with the basics of learning. We have come to rely on Linda’s experience and knowledge base in all matters pertaining to Theresa’s education.
In closing, I would just like to mention that as a licensed psychologist and tenured professor of psychology, I have had the opportunity to interact with numerous mental health and school professionals. I feel that Linda sits easily within the top 5% of professionals I have interacted with over my career. It seems to me that she is strongly committed to working at a high level in her field of endeavor. I therefore recommend her unconditionally to you and hope that my comments and observations will be helpful in your assessment process.
Joseph P. Pedoto, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
About Special Needs NJ’s own Linda Leenstra
I am pleased to be able to highly recommend Linda Leenstra. I have had the pleasure of interacting with Linda for two years.
Linda is our private ABA therapist for my son Joseph who is a boy with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and Epilepsy.
Linda has excellent communication skills and a love for children. Linda has a wonderful rapport with people of all ages, especially children. Her ability to connect with her students and her talent for teaching simple concepts, as well as more advanced topics is superior. She has excellent interpersonal skills, is reliable, and computer literate. She is a wonderful teacher and ABA therapist who has a profound ability to accomplish teaching and therapeutic tasks with great initiative and a very positive attitude.
Linda has differentiated a program to fulfill my son’s learning ability, with implementation of adaptive technology. She has been a supporter and advocate for my son while also supporting my three other children with the struggles of having a sibling with special needs. She has taught our family if my child cannot learn in the way we teach him we must teach him in the way he can learn. She has provided our family with great support!
I recommend Special Needs NJ to you without reservation
Hey Linda! I just wanted to thank you for everything you’ve done.
I highly recommend Linda at Special Needs NJ. I contacted Linda because I was concerned about my daughter and felt that the school was not meeting her needs. When I first asked the school to evaluate my daughter, they said that her grades were too good and that there was no need evaluate her. I disagreed. I called several different advocates before I called Linda. Immediately, I felt comfortable speaking to Linda and explaining what my concerns were. She explained how the process works and what her role would be. When I met with Linda, I gave her all the medical reports I had, her then current 504, and samples of my daughter’s work. Linda took the time to look through everything and she went to work immediately formulating a plan. She explained to me the law and what my parental rights are. Linda wrote correspondence to the school on my behalf. All I had to do was read it over, insert certain pieces of information and send the correspondence to the school. I requested another meeting with the school and asked again for my daughter to be evaluated. Linda attended the meeting with. She provided me with an agenda of topics to cover, so I wouldn’t forget what I needed to talk about and she spoke for me when I became too emotional. The school agreed to evaluate my daughter. After the evaluations were complete, the school moved my daughter from a 504 to an IEP due to the discrepancies they found. I took her for further evaluations and the doctor diagnosed my daughter as high functioning ASD.
I never would have gotten this far had it not been for Linda. She was there for me when I needed her. She provided me with support and fought for my child as if it was her own child. Linda is extremely knowledgeable of all the laws and rights, and how a proper IEP should be written up. I learned a lot from her. Choosing Linda as my daughter’s advocate and my IEP coach was the best decision I’ve ever made.