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.


Sarah is a lifesaver. NYC has many good options for special needs kids, but an incredibly complex system for making it happen. The schools have various and specific requirements, and one needs to understand all the different processes. We had so many questions, and Sarah had so many answers. We highly recommend reaching out to her and will tell everyone we know.

—Benjamin J.


I attended Sarah’s Turning 5 workshop when my daughter was 4, and it was very informative. But she became really invaluable to us when I sought her consultation after our neuropsych evaluation pointed us towards the world of special ed schools. At the end of the meeting with her, I had a clear plan that I started executing right away, from finding the right experts, to guidance on school applications, and more! She was always available on short notice, by email/phone/zoom. She not only guided us through it all, but also cheered me on so I could continue fighting for what our daughter needed. Thank you, Sarah!

—Sila A.


I heard about Sarah Birnbaum from a friend. I emailed her when my son was 2 years old for a consult, and I could instantly tell that she was very knowledgeable, resourceful and reliable. My son is turning 5 soon and Sarah was there to guide us through the whole process. She walked us through every step. She made herself available when we needed her guidance, even during the holidays. We are very grateful!

—Mary Z.


When we got the news that our son was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD, we were devastated, at a loss and on an emotional roller coaster ride. We didn’t even know where to begin with the schools, the process and just how to help our son. And then a friend recommended Sarah. Within minutes of speaking, I finally felt for the first time I could breathe as there was someone who could help us navigate all that was ahead of us. Sarah was a calming force, understanding and a wealth of knowledge. She was open with her own experience and could relate as a parent. We are so grateful for her support during this time!! Highly highly recommend Sarah!

—Linda H.


We were referred to Sarah by a friend and I have already referred her to multiple other friends with the text message of: Call her ASAP!!! While we were speaking for the first time, I felt my body unclenching for the first time in months – I knew that with her guidance we would be able to find a great school for our kid and finally understand the overwhelming process of leaving the public school system. She helped us gain our footing when we were just starting the process, and knowing we can call her back at any time is like having a pep talk in our pocket.

—Rebecca S.


Sarah’s Turning 5 webinar was not only extremely informative, but also comforting. Her presentation was well organized and detailed. Sarah possesses the unique ability to provide vital information in a direct and straightforward manner while still maintaining empathy and compassion. She helped reduce my anxiety about the whole Turning 5 process and for that I am grateful.

—Christine H.


I attended Sarah’s Life After EI and Turning 5 presentations. Attending these two free presentations has been so much more efficient than searching around endlessly on the internet, looking for helpful bits and pieces of useful information. The presentations made me feel much more in the know about the needlessly confusing and poorly explained process of navigating early education for a child on the spectrum in NYC. Moreover, there’s something about Sarah’s tone that is just so empathetic and reassuring. I get the feeling she not only knows what I’m going through, but truly cares and wants to help.

—Dorothy L.


We were referred to Sarah when we started looking for schools for our newly diagnosed ASD and ADHD son. This was a new world for us, but Sarah helped us figure out a list of appropriate schools and guide our strategy. Sarah understands the NYC public and private school system as well as each child’s individual needs acutely, and we are very grateful.

—Ami S.


Thank you so much for last night’s Life After EI talk! I found it super helpful. You are so knowledgeable and it eased my anxiety about the whole process.

—Samantha S.


We attended Sarah’s “Life after EI” webinar. Not only was it extremely informative, but it gave us a roadmap as we transition out of Early Intervention and into the next phase of education. Thank you Sarah!

—Andrew M.


Sarah Birnbaum’s “Life After EI” answered questions I didn’t even know I had. It would have been near impossible to compile and research everything she covered in two short hours! I felt much better equipped to help my child after attending the talk.

—Olga K.


Sarah Birnbaum’s “Life After EI” talk is something you should attend if your child is in Early Intervention. The guidance and advice she gives is beyond beneficial to your child. She is extremely well informed, and I am very grateful to have been able to attend her talk!

—Iris P.


Sarah Birnbaum’s Turning 5 webinar was exactly what I needed to learn how the Turning 5 process works, which individuals I need to reach out to for assistance, and what next steps I need to take. The presentation was very organized and detailed, and I felt that I had the proper information to navigate the process successfully.

—Olga A.


I’ve attended several free talks given by Sarah and she is an incredibly valuable and knowledgeable resource to parents of children with special needs in NYC. Navigating the process is not always easy and she does a great job breaking it down for parents, helping us understand our rights while encouraging parents to get all view points to formulate our own opinions and to have faith in ourselves that we know what’s best for our children and can advocate for that.

—Karen K.


Sarah was the first person that I felt really understood us. We called her with a fresh diagnosis that we ourselves didn’t even yet believe. We were in shock, yet she was non-judgemental, took the time to listen to us, offered empathy and calm confidence. She just told things like they are, and she was right about everything. Thanks to her, we made a step-by-step plan for our family. Importantly, she explains to parents that what they are trying to do for their child is right, and not some crazy entitlement or “abusing” the system.

—Dinah B.


I stopped by Sarah’s “Life After EI” talk, which was very informative. I have been asking parents about what’s next, but Sarah was able to capture the key points of what I needed to know. She’s knowledgeable and resourceful. I was concerned about class size for my child. During Sarah’s session, I was able to reflect on my own child’s development and found answers for questions I didn’t have the answers to. I was also able to network and meet parents who share the same sentiments.

—Danielle W.


Working with Sarah is the only thing that made the process of finding a kindergarten for my child with ASD bearable. She was always available and responsive. She is knowledgeable about every school, including the ins and outs of admissions and the pros and cons of each institution. She is able to advise on the whole process from soup to nuts, including consulting with other experts, the interview process, the evaluations, the applications, and choosing the right school for your child. She also brings a positive, enthusiastic, yet realistic attitude to each session, which is the perfect mixture for a parent going through this stressful and unusual process. I strongly recommend working with Sarah to any parent going through the process of finding a school for a child with special needs.

—Rachel M.


We approached Sarah after our son’s initial Turning 5 meeting. The DOE presented us with a complex set of options to consider with a tight deadline. Sarah was a beacon of light, helping us evaluate the options and arming us with the facts we needed to advocate effectively for our son. Sarah is knowledgeable, genuine, warm and empathetic. We would recommend her in a heartbeat!

—Viviane M.


I am thrilled I was able to attend Sarah’s Turning 5 webinar. The information is beyond invaluable. I really appreciated her perspective as a parent — what she learned along the way and the things we, as parents, should look to consider as we search for the right learning environment for our children. I was very grateful that she also took the time to walk us through the laws, our rights, the different types of in-classroom support, etc. I feel empowered and more informed now so that I can be the best advocate for my son over the coming year and for his Turning 5 meeting. Thank you!

—Carmen R.


I attended Sarah Birnbaum’s Turning 5 talk and I was so impressed, especially with her vision and attention to detail. What I learned is really helping me figure out what’s best for my child. I was recommended to go by another mom who attended her workshop last year, who told me that the presentation helped her have great success on her Turning 5 journey. The handout Sarah gives out at the talk is like a bible for parents of children with special needs in NYC. Thanks a lot for your work, Sarah.

—Kay S.


Every parent heading into Turning 5 should attend Sarah’s workshop. It is the best breakdown of the special education process I have come across –– well-structured and detailed with invaluable tips and helpful watchouts. I have also had a consultation with Sarah when my family was going through a particularly difficult time with CPSE and heading into a tough meeting. The advice we got from her saved us time and helped us go in the right direction, ultimately leading us to a successful outcome. Not only is she a wonderful resource, she is also compassionate and genuine. I highly recommend her to anyone who needs help navigating the ins and outs of the system.

—Marie D.


I attended Sarah’s Turning 5 talk, and it was everything I’ve heard and more! Since my son showed signs of ASD, I have been running around and researching diligently for a year. Sarah not only answered every question I had, she brought up issues I had never thought about! Her talk is also so funny. The topic is heavy, emotional and stressful, but somehow Sarah was able to lighten it for us. I left feeling hopeful and much less stressed. I highly recommend her talk to everyone!!!

—Elaine L.


Sarah’s talks are important and can’t-miss events: She opens your eyes and lights the fire you need to tackle the process and make smart decisions for your child, and offers the emotional support you’ll need as you do so. We highly recommend you attend.

—Chris M.


As soon as our child began receiving services, we immediately reached out to Sarah for advice and help. We have continued to seek her sage counsel from Early Intervention through CPSE and the Turning 5 Process. (BTW, if you are at all unsure of what these terms are, RUN, do not walk to Sarah right away!) We will to continue to contact Sarah throughout our child’s education. We have attended Sarah’s free talks many times and have learned something new each time, and we have also worked with Sarah directly. If your child receives services, if you think your child might need services, or you are at all unsure, reach out to Sarah right away and attend one of her free talks. You will be doing your child and yourself an enormous service and will give yourself invaluable knowledge, essential confidence, and some well-needed peace of mind. Negotiating through NYC’s complicated and cumbersome special needs services can be daunting and overwhelming. Sarah is the Sherpa to help you safely and effectively navigate NYC’s special needs maze.

—Lawrence W.


Attending Sarah’s talk on Turning 5 was not just vastly informative, but also comforting and empowering. After almost three years of advocating for my child through EI and CPSE, it was amazing to finally feel like another parent could totally relate to what I was going through in terms of the frustration of dealing with the system. I have gotten some general information from my son’s therapeutic nursery regarding the process, but Sarah was able to provide incredible and candid insight on how the system works.

—Michelle M.


I don’t know what I would have done without Sarah’s help. She’s been an invaluable resource throughout our search for the “right” answers and supports for our twins. I first contacted her when my kids were in preschool and their teachers recommended they be evaluated for developmental delays. More recently, she helped me navigate both the public school IEP and private school application and admissions processes. Both kids ultimately got into a great school thanks in no small part to Sarah’s advice and support. She knows the community extremely well and has great insights on a wide range of service providers and schools. She was my sounding board, my first email or call, the gentle nudge when I needed to course-correct (but didn’t know it yet), and always a great source of sound advice and perspective. She’s kind and compassionate, she makes me laugh (sometimes through the tears). She really knows her stuff and is so dedicated to her mission. There is no one else like Sarah!!

—Hyun S.


When we got the ASD diagnosis, we were rocked initially. I very quickly reached out to Sarah for help. She immediately offered counsel, and a calm confidence. She assured me my son would not go to any school I didn’t deem appropriate. It often felt like much needed therapy for me! Sarah is a true professional with incredible empathy, a combination that is hard to find and so necessary in this emotional journey.

—Stephanie O.


Sarah is the most helpful and resourceful person I have met so far since my daughter was diagnosed. I am blown away with her knowledge base and honest, candid way she delivers information. I am forever grateful. Thank you.

—Joyce V.


As a former special education teacher, I thought I’d know about all of the things Sarah Birnbaum would mention during her seminar, but I was partially wrong. She shed light on a lot of things I did not know as a former educator. Also, her main perspective was as a parent advocate for students with special needs. Sarah emphasized her seminar on unknown/unadvertised methods on securing the best education for your special needs child. Lastly, I took away a sense of hope as a parent from the seminar. Sarah really helped to bring a sense of confidence, honesty in your child’s performance, and strong advocacy when thinking of your child and what they need to have a successful independent future. I would not only recommend her sessions, but would also go to another for more information.

—Adam F.


I was referred to Sarah Birnbaum by a friend to whom I will forever be grateful for this introduction. After a year that at time felt like trudging through hell, within a 30-minute free consultation, we were armed with information about financial planners for special needs, a list of experts to consult, and back-up plans in case our first choice school fell through. We walked away from this conversation empowered, and for the first time in a long time, we also felt in charge. I cannot recommend Sarah’s help enough. She knows all the players and all the schools, and she is highly regarded in the community. Sarah – thank you for everything. It meant more than you could imagine.

—Anne L.


We attended Sarah’s talk about a year before our actual Turning 5 meeting. At first we were so overwhelmed with all of the information, but Sarah explains everything very clearly and with humor and honesty. I am glad we had the time to let the info sink in. As we continued to do our research leading up to our meeting, I was grateful to have had Sarah’s talk as a foundation. She instills confidence in parents knowing that the system in New York City can be very intimidating, but with the right tools, it can be manageable. I highly recommend attending one of her talks as part of your child’s journey into kindergarten.

—Anjeanette S.

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