Friday, April 15, 2016

Introducing Our Newest Specialists!

Rachael Alaniz is one of our specialists residing in Yorktown. She will serve the Muncie area. She earned her Bachelors in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Masters in Public Administration and Masters in Social Work from Florida State University.  While her professional experience is in grants, legislative planning, and social program evaluation, Rachael chose to start a family and take on a new career as a stay-at-home mom when she and her husband, Kevin, moved to Indiana in 2008 for his job as a Professor of Finance and Insurance.  
Rachael is the mother to two children with rare genetic conditions, Daisy and Aria.  Daisy is six years old and has a CASK gene mutation which affects her neurologically, opthalmologically, metabolically, and causes autism.   Daisy has received extensive intervention since birth ranging from OT, PT, SLP all the way through intensive ABA intervention and is now a mainstreamed kindergarten student receiving additional services in a classroom with her typically developing peers.  Aria was born with Fanconi Anemia and lost her battle with the disease in 2015 shortly before her 5th birthday.  Aria lived with multiple severe disabilities including deafblindness.  She also had abnormalities in every organ of her body but her lungs and lived with daily uncontrolled seizures.  Having the pleasure of loving Aria allowed Rachael to learn about and become involved with organizations advocating for children with deafblindness and promote the use of Interveners in the classroom.
Currently Rachael volunteers with multiple organizations in the Yorktown and Muncie communities.  She is excited to be working with Family Voices and hopes to help make the experience of parenting children with additional needs a little easier for the families with whom she comes in contact.

Carol Averbeck is one of our specialists serving Central Indiana. She lives in Carmel, Indiana, with her two sons, Kirby, age 17, and Jack, age 14, and two high-energy yellow Labrador Retrievers. Carol has degrees in psychology and social work and has worked as a therapist and advocate for children and their families in various capacities since 1990. She also works as an adjunct instructor, teaching psychology and human services at several local universities.
Her son, Jack, was diagnosed with a seizure disorder secondary to Pachygyria at eight weeks of age.  He has been involved in First Steps, Early Childhood Education services, and now school-based special education services as well as a wide variety of private therapies.
In their spare time, Carol and her family enjoy playing with the dogs, riding bikes, and sampling pizza and hamburgers at as many Indianapolis area restaurants as possible. 
Carol looks forward to helping families of children with special health needs obtain the information they need to make informed choices and to advocate for their child and family.

Marty Stone is one of our specialists in Central Indiana.  She has a degree in Sociology from IU Indianapolis. 
Marty resides in Noblesville with her husband and two children. Her first child was born at 29 weeks gestation. He was diagnosed with Pierre Robin syndrome and an unknown form of dwarfism. He came home after a lengthy stay in the NICU with a trach, g-tube, vent, and lots of other equipment. After his trach was removed, he was diagnosed with non-verbal autism, for which he uses an AAC device to communicate. To keep things interesting, her son is also battling Eosinophillic Esophagitis. His sister dearly loves her brother and tries to assist him when needed. Together the family enjoys attending programs at church, bowling, and enjoying sensory activities.
Marty is excited to be working with Family Voices Indiana.  She hopes to make the path easier for other families who receive a special needs diagnosis.

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