Parent Training & Information (PTI) Center

Helping families work together with professionals across the systems that serve children

Helping families know their rights 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, the PTI also works with families who have children at risk of inappropriate identification and classification.


What the Parent Training & Information Center Offers

SPAN’s knowledgeable Information Specialists and Family Resource Specialists are also parents who have faced many of the issues and challenges in accessing appropriate services in early intervention (EI), education, and transition from school to adult life.

Each of these specialists is available to provide families with information, resources, best practices, and support through individualized technical assistance. Our staff members each focus on specific counties, so we can target families’ specific needs:

  • Access to online and print resources to help families be more knowledgeable about children’s rights and best practices
  • In-person and online training sessions to empower parents, professionals, and youth as advocates for children or for themselves
  • Family-to-family emotional support and information
  • Leadership opportunities to strengthen the family voice in early intervention, education and transition systems

Resources & Materials

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

Rights of Students in the IEP Process  |  Students in special education have the right to be involved in developing their IEPs and to make decisions at age 18

SPAN Fact Sheets  |  This collection of fact sheets provides short and to-the-point information about a variety of topics

Useful Links & Websites

Search the SPAN website by keyword for resources on:

  • Early Intervention
  • Evaluations
  • Assessment
  • Individualized Education Plans (IEP)
  • Transition to Pre-School
  • Transition from School to Adulthood
  • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
  • Inclusion
  • Positive Behavior Supports
  • Discipline
  • Response to Intervention
  • Section 504
  • Dispute Resolution
  • More

For individualized assistance, please call our Warmline at (800) 654-SPAN (7726) or (973) 642-8100.

Visit our Training and Workshops page for more information on the types of sessions we offer.

What Our Families Say

“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!”

Contact Us

For Individualized Assistance, please call our Warmline at (800) 654 SPAN (7756) or 973-642-8100 —OR— e-mail us at

Our Staff

Diana Autin

PTI Co-Director

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

Parent & Professional Development Trainers

Dawn Monaco

Senior Trainer (North)

Nicole Pratt

Senior Trainer (South)

Family Resource Specialists

Heroina Beras

Spanish Information Specialist–Statewide
Spanish Language Family Resource Specialist–Hudson County

Garima Jain

Multilingual Information Specialist (Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi, Hindi)
Family Resource Specialist–Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren Counties

Janet Martinez

Bilingual Family Resource Specialist (Spanish)–Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem Counties

Ewelina Mickiewicz-Szram

Bilingual Family Resource Specialist (Polish)–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–Statewide

Henry Tejada

Bilingual Information Specialist (Spanish)
Family Resource Specialist–Union County

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.