Meet The Team
Founder, Executive Director
Certified Nurtured Heart Approach® Trainer
AA Humanities and Human Services Onondaga Community College
BS Environmental and Forest Biology: Plant Science SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Over a decade of experience parenting and advocating for special needs individuals in the Syracuse City School District
On the job training and training seminars in Applied Behavioral Analysis, social skills development, managing anxiety, sensory integration, and navigating the IEP process.
Pursuing course work in psychology, sociology, and anthropology with a specific focus on studying how different cultures interact with autism.
“As a parent I have had on the job training in recognizing autism and working to create a loving, respectful, and nurturing environment for special needs individuals. My children’s ever changing needs have taught me to be flexible while planning ahead for unforeseen eventualities. My lifelong faith has taught me to value and respect the beauty and simple human dignity of every individual even those society would dismiss as damaged or otherwise undesirable. Each special needs individual is a remarkable creation with strengths and weaknesses to be aware of. I want to help people use their strengths to enrich their lives and the lives of others.”
Sanchia A. Callender
"I have to make every effort to improve outcomes for individuals society likes to label disabled. There is often a failure to recognize the ability of such individuals because of the focus placed on their disability. As is the case with animals, children and adults with disabilities or impairments often lack the tools for self advocacy or the individuals around them fail to comprehend information that is being communicated. My goals in life personally and academically are to educate, and advocate for individuals with disabilities, or different abilities, and their families, caretakers, service providers and educators."
Tikatia I. Morris
"Every child is unique and has potential for greatness, our job as parents is to coax out the greatness, and appreciate the uniqueness and abilities of all our children." My son, now 10, was born with a rare brain anomoly, one that at the time didn't have much information as to a prognosis, and there were very few parents for me to turn to. As he's grown, and more information and research has become available, we've seen that his condition presents itself as an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and found amazing support within the autism community. Since his birth and subsequent diagnosis, 2 others of my children have been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorders (related to ASD) and one more has an overall developmental delay. It has become my passion to educate parents to advocate for their children as well to teach them to educate their families, friends and communities, because understanding truly helps lead to progress."
Lionel A. Callender
“Special needs individuals deserve a closer look that is designed to give them better opportunities and position them to reach the maximum of their potential abilities. We need to move away from a deficit model that is looking to fix what is broken. We need instead to focus on a strengths based model that seeks to identify and build upon the strengths of special needs individuals.”
Simone O. Callender
"Inside each of us is the potential to do great things. I'm here to help others nurture and bring out the potential in themselves and their children."
What Others Have Said About Us