About Me

Welcome to Special Ed Rising!
A joyful place for sharing, learning, celebrating and discovery.

I am excited to share this journey with you. 

First and foremost, I am a person.  And relating to others on that basic human level I feel is critical for the development and growth of any interaction and relationship. When we come together in such a way, I believe we are more able to keep things real, honest and respectful of our beliefs and opinions.

I am a practicing provider to parents as a trainer/coach and continue to work with students on the neurodiverse spectrum who show behavior difficulties; social, emotional, defiant and anxiety related.  I help to guide families and shape behaviors of both child and parent to create a more manageable living environment and life for the child.  

I have been in homes and have worked with many parents and professionals and witnessed the challenges you face.  I have also dealt with a variety of children’s behaviors along the spectrum in and out of the classroom. What I can provide is compassion, ideas, strategies, advocacy, resources and, by creating this site, a place to recognize achievements and shared stories that give hope, offer comfort or ease a burden.  And as with everything worth anything, I endeavor to evolve through its process. 

I want the world to learn and achieve a greater understanding of what you experience as a parent and/or caregiver to some of the most amazing people I have ever met; children like yours. I hope you can find solace here. I hope that this can become a forum for you to share, celebrate, unload and discover.

Mark Ingrassia

This will be a platform from which I can share with you my discoveries and colorful tales from my years guiding, relating to and learning from hundreds of students and their families. I hope this site can become a place for you to share your stories and the triumphs of your children as we recognize their greatness.

Your children and you have brought light, joy and a deeper understanding of the human condition to me. I want others to know of this gift as well.

This path found me and I cannot imagine my life without having traveled along it. 

Let’s share OUR stories. 

And be sure to listen to my weekly podcast on a range of topics and enjoy interviews with those making a difference in the field!


              My Approach and Strategies for Parent Training

  • Building a rapport with parents through honest and authentic communication.  Offering understanding, accepting where they are in the process, leaving judgement aside, listening to and respecting their concerns and developing trust. 
  • Introduce the concept of Mindful Parenting; this is something I’ve been developing and  implementing in my work with families and my blog.  The key being the focus on the space between stimulus and response as the opportunity for choice in how we respond to and create growth, both personally and interpersonally.  Developing healthy relationships.
  • Identifying child’s and parent’s strengths and weaknesses and planning for how to fuel the first and diminish the latter.
  • Assessment, through observation, of behaviors that can be treated positively through establishing routine and rules of the house. 
  • Using schedules (picture/word) to inform, regulate the day and relieve stresses by knowing what is happening next or what one is working towards. 
  • Visual reminders in high traffic locations around the home
  • Offer ideas to make the home safe for the child (if needed)
  • Positive behavioral approach using any number of reward systems from charts to punch cards to food to stickers…immediate and longer term, earned rewards.  Use natural and logical consequences that correlate to the behavior or acting out. 
  • Active ignoring. What is it? How to implement?
  • Sequencing activities for predictability and stress reduction
  • Modeling behavior techniques for parents and equipping them to model for their child
  • Use of Social Stories
  • Preparing for transitions with First/Then, daily calendars and schedules
  • For outside excursions, preparing a sensory kit to quell meltdowns to leave in your car and an additional one to carry to different locations, ie. Food store, restaurant. 
  • Differentiation.  Teaching parents how to differentiate goals for their challenged child from those of typical children they may have.  Create realistic expectations.
  • Teaching parents patience and tolerance to be able to handle difficult challenges.   
  • Self-consolation; self-forgiveness and self-compassion in order to be a healthier parent for one’s child
  • Create sensory areas, if needed.  Help design this space. 
  • Instruct in and establish a Life Skills program and daily life skills for the home. 
  • The importance of choices
  • Cueing for language and for requests
  • Helping train in the use of communication systems, adaptive equipment and visual support; ie. Communication devices, PECS, sign language, etc. 
  • Assessing skill levels to assign a child with developmentally appropriate chores and how to fit them into the day’s schedule.
  • Encourage family involvement on a deeper level where everyone is recognized as an individual with individual abilities and something to offer
  • Transitioning to school from home and from high school to Day Hab. 
  • Being a resource to inform parents of their rights and the programs that exist for their son/daughter
  • Everything with the goal of building as much independence for your child as is uniquely possible

Celebrate Diversity