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Parent Training & Information (PTI) Center

SPAN’s Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) helps families know their rights and best practices to ensure that infants, toddlers, children, youth and young adults with special needs receive the early intervention, education, and transition services they need for a productive life.  SPAN helps families to work together with professionals across the systems that serve children.  SPAN also works with families who have children at risk of inappropriate identification and classification.

SPAN's Parent Training & Information Center (PTI) offers:

  • Information and individualized technical assistance from our knowledgeable Information Specialists, who are parents who have faced many of the issues and challenges you have in accessing appropriate services in early intervention (EI), education, and transition from school to adult life.
  • Access to on-line and print resources to help you be more knowledgeable about children's rights and best practices.
  • In-person and on-line training sessions to empower parents and professionals as advocates for children;
  • Family to family emotional support and information; and,
  • Leadership opportunities to strengthen the family voice in early intervention, education and transition systems.


For information about the Parent Training & Information Center, contact:

Diana Autin, PTI Co-Director,
Maria Docherty, PTI Co-Director,
Carolyn Hayer, PTI Co-Director,
What families/professions are saying about this project: 

"I now understand the law and it is much clearer to me. I obtained phrases to use when speaking with the school and a more helpful way of navigating through the system."

"The scenarios really helped me understand what should be happening in those meetings."

"The workshop helped to break many assumptions/stereotypes about special education. I now know better ways to help my child and to work with the school."

“I learned how little changes can make a big difference!”

Key Resources of Interest: 

IEP Meeting Checklist for Parents of Preschoolers:  This checklist can be used by parents to prepare for and at the IEP meeting to ensure that all topics are covered in the proper order

Pre-IEP Meeting Letter for Families:  This letter can be filled in and sent to the IEP team in advance of the meeting to ensure that the team is prepared to have a complete discussion to develop an appropriate IEP

IEP Meeting Checklist for Families:  This checklist can be used by parents at the IEP meeting to ensure that all topics are covered in the proper order

Guide to IDEA, NJ State Special Education Code, & Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act:  This guide summarizes the key provisions of IDEA, state special education code, and Section 504, including their similarities and differences.

For Additional Resources on Early Intervention, Evaluations, Assessment, Individualized Education Plans (IEP), Transition to Pre-School, Transition from School to Adulthood, Least Restrictive Environment, Inclusion, Positive Behavior Supports, Discipline, Response to Intervention, Section 504, Dispute Resolution, and a host of other topics, you can Search this site by Keyword.



Maria Docherty, PTI Co-Director & Director of Technical Assistance

Carolyn Hayer, PTI Co-Director & Director of Parent & Professional Development

Peg Kinsell, Director of Institutional & Policy Advocacy

Melvina Baskerville, Intake Specialist

Individual Assistance & Family Resource Specialists:

Heroina Beras, Spanish Information Specialist statewide and Family Resource Specialist Hudson County

Garima Jain, Bilingual (Gujarati) Information Specialist  and Family Resource Specialist Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren Counties

Janet Martinez, Bilingual (Spanish) Family Resource Specialist Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem Counties

Ewelina Mickiewic-Szram, Bilingual (Polish) Family Resource Specialist Burlington County

Donna Milanowycz, Family Resource Specialist Ocean County

Kim Rivers, Information Specialist and Family Resource Specialist Essex County

Erin Seigh, Transition to Adult Life Coordinator and Information Specialist

Henry Tejada, Bilingual (Spanish) Information Specialist and Family Resource Specialist Union County

Parent & Professional Development Trainers:

Dawn Monaco, Senior Trainer (North)

Nicole Pratt, Senior Trainer (South)


The contents of this website were developed in part under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H328M150032. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Project Officer, Carmen Sanchez.