Oops! You must enter a search term greater than 3 characters.

Invite reviews

Invite friends and colleagues to share their experiences with this nonprofit
28 Reviews
1234.785715
Write A Review
February 12, 2011

more

Review from Guidestar
February 12, 2011

My son currently has a diagnosis of autism and is fully mainstreamed in 4th grade at his neighborhood school and things are going VERY well! I honestly believe that this would not have been the case without the help of the Peal Center through their parent education programs and individual advice. Until I took their class on IEP's and parent rights within the school system, I did not understand that I did not have to accept everything the school recommended and that I did, in fact, have input into how and where my son receives his education. At that time, Zachary was really struggling in the regular classroom and at least some of those on his team felt that he should receive his education in another building in the school district that houses the district's elementary autism program. The education and advice I received gave me the confidence to become an active participant in his team and as such I believe I have gained the respect of the other members of his team. We now all work together quite well in trying help Zachary achieve his potential and he is thriving as a result! I know in my heart that this would not have been the case if not for the help of the PEAL Center and I know many other parents who have had the same experience. The PEAL Center really plays a crucial role in the lives of special needs children and their families!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the success we've experienced in my son's education. The PEAL Center provided me with the education and advice I needed to become an active participant with his team in providing for his special needs, which is essential considering everyone else on the team has to balance his needs against the desires of the school administration.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

While I understand that constructive criticism is important for any organization to succeed...I cannot come up with anything at this time that I feel needs to be improved unless it would be to continue to look for more ways to reach out to parents with special needs. I shudder to think where we would be if we had not discovered the PEAL Center when we did. That being said, I myself have been frustrated in my attempts to reach out to other parents to share my experience.

February 11, 2011

more

Review from Guidestar
February 11, 2011

As a parent I have worked with the people who started PEAL and know they have a lot of knowledge and expertise. I have attended their conferences and have come away with new information and also with the feeling of being revived.
As a professional advocate I have presented at one PEAL
conference and I refer parents to PEAL for resources and they refer to me for advocacy services in my area.
I have also found them to be a great resource in areas that do not have professional advocates and they have provided the much needed support.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

with referrals they make to me and being able to hook up families who need help

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

That they would be able to expand their staff to help more people

February 11, 2011

more

Review from Guidestar
February 11, 2011

I am the mother of 3 sons that were diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (Autism) in 2004. At that time, it was discovered that my husband also has this. Little did I know then, I was in for a very long, hard battle with my children's school district in order to even begin to obtain appropriate autism support for them. I was alone in my fight, having no family or friends due to having just relocated to Pennsylvania from Ohio. The next few years were filled with sleepless nights. I felt I was in a constant battle with time, trying to research everything I could to help my children in school, just to try to ensure they would have every chance at transitioning into adulthood and successful, meaningful futures. This took a major toll on me mentally, emotionally, and physically. Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings were incredibly difficult to deal with; even though I knew I was going into the meetings with reasonable requests, my boys were being denied the autism supports they needed. At every meeting, every time I made requests for social, behavioral, and communication skills to be addressed in the IEPs, I was told repeatedly, "we don't provide autism support here".

I was fighting a fight for my boys education that I simply could not win. At least not alone. So I secured the assistance of a mental health advocate to attend the meetings with me. Unfortunately, even this was not enough.

In 2008, I attended a workshop put together by the local Mental Health Association, the place where my boys' mental health advocate works. It was that day that I met a member of the PEAL CENTER. I shared my story with her and immediately she gave me her card and invited me to call her anytime. Her card read, "Parent/Student Educational Advocate" along with her name and phone number.

At this point, since I had already felt so parent-battered by the school district, I wasn't sure anyone could help me anymore. But with more IEP meetings coming up quickly, knowing I was getting nowhere with the school district, I decided to give this lady a call. And I was so glad I did. Even though I vented so many frustrations that day, she was so calm and reassuring. She agreed to attend my boys' IEP meetings with me. Knowing that I would have 2 advocates, one to cover mental health and the other, the educational portions, this gave me a sense of renewed hope.

It hasn't been an easy journey for any of us. With the 3 of us working together in attempts to get the school district to provide autism supports, it has been very difficult. No parent should ever have to fight this hard for their children's educations. Especially over simple requests that are consistent with what is considered "Free And Appropriate Public Education".

The educational advocate from PEAL has been very helpful. With her help, I was able to obtain additional help and resources from other agencies that I may never have known to do myself. She has provided guidance, insight, and friendship to me and my family. She has stood by me these past few years and has made herself available to attend meetings with me as often as her schedule allows. She continues to encourage me, even when things look like we are still going nowhere with the school district. But we ARE making progress. Progress that I do not believe we could have made without her.

My boys final years of high school are getting close. There is still a lot of work to do. But because of the PEAL CENTER, I am able to hold my head high again in these dreaded IEP meetings, something that had become very difficult to do before I met the educational advocate from PEAL.

Despite our every effort, the school district continues to fight against providing my boys appropriate autism supports, even to this day. Nevertheless, with the help from the educational advocate from the PEAL CENTER, we are making progress, even if it is little by little. But the point is, we are making progress, which is something that was not happening despite my best efforts before I met the advocate from PEAL.

I thank God for the PEAL CENTER and for everything they are doing to help families and individuals with disabilities. If it is a fight that I have to fight in order to gain my kids Free And Appropriate Education, I am thankful I don't have to do it alone.



The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've received excellent help with advocacy for my children's education.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way to support it financially so the center could expand its opportunities for outreach.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

I heard about it through a local workshop.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

I have hope again. I was incredibly discouraged and depressed after having fought for so long for my kids education and continually getting nowhere. It was a losing battle and it was taking me down on a personal level, affecting me mentally , emotionally, and physically. I had lost all hope that I could get autism supports from the school district whatsoever before I began getting help from the PEAL CENTER.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 11, 2011

more

Review from Guidestar
February 11, 2011

Life as a parent with special needs can be isolating and overwhelming. The PEAL center has empowered me on numerous occasions to help me help my child. This help includes treatment plans, educational goals and general community advice. This is an organization run by real people, ready to help carry out the best agenda for my family. My child's remarkable progress is directly related to the support I receive from the PEAL center.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I became better equipped when advocating for my child as a result of working with the PEAL center. I learned what I can ask the school district to do, to maintain accountability, and provide and appropriate education for my child.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would like to see more growth in this organization. I would like to see additional training classes offered for parents of children with special needs.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

Internet search

February 11, 2011

more

Review from Guidestar
February 11, 2011

This is an organization that focuses on inclusion with wonderful people that work there and wonderful training.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Training and support for parents.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

none

February 11, 2011

more

Review from Guidestar
February 11, 2011

When my son entered the public school system I wanted to ensure he was included in the regular classroom. I was unaware of the Special Education Laws and my rights as a Parent. The Parent Advisors at PEAL were so helpful in providing me the resoursces to educate myself and be the best advocate for my son. Today my son is included in the regular ed classroom 70% of the time. He is part of the community, he participates in school and comunity activites, he is well knows in our community and accepted by all. He has friends and he is progressing very well. Kai loves school and the school staff has been very supportive and open to our suggestions for my son.

After finding PEAL I was hired as Parent Mentor helping families whose primary language is Spanish. My whole experience with PEAL from the help and training offered to become a better advocate to being hire to work with Hispanic families has been extraordinary and very rewarding.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing my son being included and accepted in the regular school and his community. And he benefits from these as well as those around, as not those who know him and iteract with him are more compassionate, patient and accepting of others.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do nothing

February 11, 2011

more

Review from Guidestar
February 11, 2011

My wife attended an IEP workshop offered by The PEAL Center a few years ago. It really helped her understand the rights that our special needs child has in the educational system. That knowledge turned her into a strong advocate for our son. We are really grateful for the information PEAL continues to provide through their workshops, publications and website. My wife is a much stronger advocate for our child because of the great support she has found at PEAL!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The results of this organization are seen in the way my son is getting the things he needs from our school district.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hire more staff so they can offer even more trainings and information to more parents.

February 10, 2011

more

February 10, 2011

Pennsylvania needed a parent center that would support parents who wanted inclusion for their childern. I have been with the PEAL Center since its inception, about 5 years. It does an outstanding job of supporting parents as well as educators in best practices in the field of education.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

attending their excellent conferences

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would work to get more grants or money so they can support more families individually

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

see above

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

helping families to receive services in education to help their children become successful

What is its top priority in the long run?

Having families watch their children learn, work, live and play in their local community.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Write A Review

Filter by reviewer role:

Support This Nonprofit

Help this nonprofit get more reviews

5 tips for getting reviews

5 tips for getting reviews...

  1. Sending an email to clients, volunteers, donors, board members, and other partners with a link to your profile page.
  2. Putting a link on your Web site
  3. Including a link in your email newsletter
  4. Putting a link in the signature of your email
    Putting a link on your facebook page and status updates
  5. Tweeting out a link to your twitter followers