Best advice ever received: Trust your own instincts as a
Best tip you've learned from raising a child with special
needs that you want to share with other parents: The
best tip for parents is not easily reduced to one word or a phrase.
There are three things that I think are most important:
After years of advocating for her own child,
corporate attorney Micki Moran began representing children with
"I learned a lot from my son," says Moran,
57. "He was my first teacher. I am sure people thought I was
possessed... I didn't want my son to be a statistic. I wanted him
to be able to do whatever he could, the best that he could do
Moran is convinced that had Patrick, 29, not received the
help they had to fight for, he would not have gone to college or be
holding down a job.
Moran thought she could help others. She launched The Child & Family Law
Center of the North Shore, a block away from her Highland Park
home, to be near Patrick, who was in middle school at the time and
has a learning disability. She started out with special education
cases before expanding to juvenile court and divorces involving the
parents of children with special needs.
"I try to be part coach, part lawyer, part
advocate," she says. "Most people I see are at the
lowest point of their lives. It's a very emotional practice. I have
boxes of Kleenex all over my office."
The job has her working more often with mental health
professionals, tutors and therapists, making sure her clients get
the services that they need, than with other lawyers.
Outside of work, she sits on the board of the Center for Independent
Futures in Evanston and leads talks to empower parents to
advocate for their children.
Oftentimes, the mental health cases she handles keep her
up at night, worrying about the children she represents, she says.
But knowing she is doing her part to help better their lives makes
it all worthwhile.
"I have a real passion for what I do,"
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