Testimonials

imghomeWhen I learned my family was moving to NYC from California, I immediately panicked. I had no idea how or where to start in getting my special needs daughter into a preschool program with services. By the grace of God, someone mentioned Sarah Birnbaum to me. After speaking with her for 10 minutes, I knew she was exactly what I needed and a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. She held my hand every step of the way 6 months prior to our move to NYC and throughout the entire next year. We completed the IEP process and also the Turning Five process with Sarah. Her exceptional guidance was invaluable and I highly recommend her to anyone going through the daunting and confusing special needs process.

—Eryn M.


I cannot thank Sarah enough for her guidance and advice in navigating the world of special needs. Her advice was invaluable and I can honestly say that I don’t think my son would be at the school he attends had it not been for support and advice. She helped me evaluate school options on short notice as she knows them all! Her assistance on the application process and preparing for his IEP meeting was truly priceless. I can’t say enough good things and I will always be thankful to her as she has truly made a positive impact on my son, his life and his future. Thank you.

—Heather O.


While Sarah presents a Turning 5 talk that is chock full of essential information every NYC special needs parent needs to know – from schools and applications to timelines and legal rights – her most powerful and indispensable words come from the truth of having been in the trenches as a parent who just wants to do the best for her child. It’s one thing for the social worker, therapist, psychologist to offer support – but no one really knows what it’s like for a parent besides another one. I miraculously managed to hold back my tears during the talk, but when they do come (and I know there will be lots), I’ll refer to my notes and think of Sarah’s supporting words.

—Sheryl F.


A heartfelt thank you to Sarah for the wealth of info she shared at her Turning 5 talk, and for the kind words that a special needs parent almost never hears. She has made a meaningful difference for me and my child.

—Lily S.


Sarah’s workshops are absolutely essential for parents of a special needs child. She has a trove of information that is heartfelt, experienced and not found by online searches. I left much more confident that I understood how to be a better advocate for my child.

—Carol C.


I’m so glad that we were lucky enough to attend Sarah’s Turning 5 talk a few years ago. She gave very helpful information, offering tips to guide us smoothly through the Turning 5 process and even beyond. I constantly saw her at school open houses, asking as many questions as she could. She is just amazing, and I wish I had met her earlier. I was new to to the country, to NYC, and to special education, but very glad Sarah was there to help us!

—Rena W.


Sarah Birnbaum’s Turning 5 talk is a must! She gives so much intellectual artillery to plan out one of the most challenging processes in the special ed world. A two-hour FREE talk on the nitty gritty that others don’t address. I came out of the talk empowered and ready to take action!

—Nilda N.


Finding out that your son is not getting an appropriate education at his public school is a shock to the system. Navigating the world of special education is like entering a foreign country where they don’t speak your language. Sarah explained the subtext when talking to educators and administrators. She offers great ideas and approaches, leveraging her network and deep knowledge. She made me laugh when I could cry. She is my sounding board and someone I turn to when friends and parents can’t relate and your spouse is equally overwhelmed by the process.

—Jenny C.


Sarah is a wonderful, caring person and a tremendously insightful resource. She helped us navigate the process of finding the most appropriate education for our child. Because of her, we were well prepared when our daughter was diagnosed as dyslexic. She gave us insightful and practical advice on everything from neuropsychological evaluations, reading programs, dealing with the DOE and applying to special ed schools. She helped us become better advocates for our child.

—Kristen M. and David R.


We were referred to Sarah by a friend after feeling frustrated and completely overwhelmed by the convoluted CPSE process. Sarah’s guidance and detailed instructions not only enabled us to navigate the process with confidence but also put us in the best position to receive exactly the services we wanted. Sarah was a fountain of information – her advice was direct, specific and highly relevant. We cannot recommend her services enough!

—Jen K.


Sarah’s Turning 5 talk made a very difficult and complicated situation easier to understand and navigate. Her helpful tips and guidelines are the key to doing the best that you can for your child.

—Wendy G.


Sarah was an invaluable resource during our Turning 5 process. She was always available and provided us with excellent (and calming) advice. I would strongly recommend that anybody going through this process take advantage of her wealth of knowledge and experience.

—Rachel W.


An evening with Sarah was an evening well spent! She is a fountain of knowledge and, thanks to her, the Turning 5 process makes a lot more sense!

—Denise T.


I recently had the pleasure of attending Sarah’s talk on the Turning 5 process. It was an eye-opening experience and made me feel not only better prepared, but motivated to advocate for my child and put together a plan. Sarah’s clear and comprehensive advice, along with her perspective as a fellow parent, really resonated with me and made me feel reassured and supported.

—Rosa Y.


After attending Sarah’s presentation and taking notes, I followed her advice. I feel confident that advice led us to a truly appropriate program for my ASD daughter. Thanks, Sarah!

—Kathryn G.-A.


I was new to the special needs world and felt overwhelmed having to face the task of going through the CPSE process with my son. Sarah Birnbaum was a life saver! She was always available for support and not only was kind, smart and non-judgmental, but also direct and honest, which was what my family needed. We were given conflicting information from teachers and CPSE evaluators about my son, and she helped us figure out what he really needed. She seemed to “get” my son in a way others in the evaluation process did not! If it was not for Sarah’s guidance, my son would not have received the services he was entitled to, and would not be in the right school environment. She walked us through each step in the IEP process and gave us the tools necessary to advocate for him successfully during each meeting. Bottom line, Sarah knows the system and how to work within it to get your child’s needs met. When we have to face the Turning 5 process, I know that with Sarah’s help again we will be successful. My family is so grateful for Sarah Birnbaum!

—Suzanne K.


My advice to any and every parent of a child with any kind of special needs: Go to Sarah Birnbaum’s presentations. Make an appointment to speak with her. She explains with both precision and detail how special education works in NYC: not just an official version, but the real deal, which is the one you need to learn. An advocate parent herself, she is an amazing combination of expertise, insight, savvy and compassion. She is on top of what’s happening and also highly respected in this field by the experts because of the invaluable work she does with families. I only wish I had known about Sarah earlier!

—Viv N.


Sarah Birnbaum has been an invaluable resource for us as special needs parents, navigating the often overwhelming special needs options in NYC. She saved us countless hours upon hours of needless research and worry — and most importantly was a balanced, tactical and sensitive sounding board and steady cheerleader. Even after the first shocks, being a special needs parent can be a frightening and isolating experience, but thank goodness for Sarah. She was a lifeline to a community of families all in the same boat, and her recommendations were always spot-on. We eventually found that the combination of supports for our son were best found outside of NYC, but there’s no doubt that were we to move back to the city, our first call would be to Sarah.

—Dane and Julia J.


Sarah Birnbaum is an expert in the complex NYC special education world. She gives you the quality of guidance you get from an exclusive preschool, but it is tailored to the specific problems encountered for children needing extra support. I thought I was well-informed before hearing her talk, but I came away understanding that our family has so many more options than I knew. She helped me distill and prioritize what my child needs in his first years of school. I learned how better to ensure that my child thrives in school and in this world. One talk from Sarah Birnbaum likely changed the course of my child’s life.

—Cathy A.


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