Southeast Advocate Associates

About Us

Passion. Experience. Diligence.

We have 30+ years experience advocating for children with special needs in 12 states

Our experience advocating for children's needs includes all areas of disabilities such as:

  • Autism Spectrum disorders


  • Emotional Disabilites: behavior issues, mood disorders, social problems, psychiatric disorders

  • Learning disabilities: Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalcula, Reading

  • Intellectually Challenged

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Addictions: drug, alcohol

  • Physical disabilities

  • Medical disabilities and chronic illnesses: Diabetes, Spina Bifida, Bardett Bidel Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Mitochondria Disorder, Allergies, Asthma and others

  • School problems

  • Visually impaired

  • Hearing impaired

  • Central Auditory Processing

  • Sensory Integration issues


Get in touch

We at Southeast Advocate Associates know that finding the right advocate and support team to represent you and your child is a choice not to be taken lightly. That’s why we offer free consultations to walk you through your needs, the scope of your goals, and your budget.

Please contact us anytime! We look forward to hearing from you.

Book an appointment ▸


Our Team


Educational Advocate & Consultant

Cheryl Follett

Cheryl is a widely experienced, highly regarded, and sought after special education advocate/consultant in the New England area.  The mother of two special needs children, Cheryl trained with the Federation for Children with Special Needs in Boston, MA in the 1980's in order to be able to obtain an appropriate and adequate public education for her children.  She realized early in her experience as an advocate that other parents needed her assistance.  Cheryl has an extensive knowledge of special education laws governing public school and the multitude of systems effecting children with special needs and their families.  Cheryl's experience in advocating for children has taken her to 12 states:  ME, NH, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, OH, and KY.



Eastern Nazarene College

Federation for Children with Special Needs             Advocacy Training, Boston, MA

William & Mary College Law School - Institute of Special Education Advocacy
Williamsburg, VA, 2012

Suffolk University Law School  
Fundamentals of Special Education Certificate, 2014


  • Council of Parents, Advocates & Attorneys (COPAA) since 2000

  • Special Education Advocacy Network (SPAN) since 1998

  • Council for Exceptional Children since 2016





Chief Operating Officer & Transition Consultant

Warna Reynders

Warna brings to the team more than 30 years of pastoral care, counseling,  For seven of those years she worked together with Cheryl providing comprehensive case management and special education advocacy to pastor's families in 12 states.  Since 2006 Warna has assisted individuals and families with the management of the business of one's life through her own business, Reynders Support Services.  This business  gives her a comprehensive understanding of the issues that need addressed when transitioning a child into the adult services.



Northeastern University       Non-Profit Studies                                 Boston, MA

Skidmore College
BS, Human Behavior                           Saratoga Springs, NY

The Salvation Army School for Officer Training
Suffern, NY


  • Council of Parents, Advocates & Attorneys (COPAA) since 2004

  • American Association of Christian Counselors since 2002

  • Special Education Advocacy Network (SPAN) since 2009

  • Council for Exceptional Children since 2016




Independent Educational Advocate & Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Mary Elisabeth Hannah, M.S.Ed, BCBA

Mary Elisabeth is a MA Licensed Special Education Teacher, MA Licensed and Board Certified Behavior Analyst, who specializes in children on the Autism Spectrum.  Mary Elisabeth has worked in the field of Special Education for the last 15 years in both private nonprofit and public schools in the capacity of SPED Teacher, Curriculum Specialist, SPED Administrator and Behavior Analyst.

As an Advocate, Mary Elisabeth:

  • Assists families, school personnel and other professionals in communication and coordination of services

  • Interprets assessments regarding the child’s educational needs

  • Crafts IEPs, IFSPs, 504 Plans, Healthcare plans with parents and professionals

  • Trains parents in advocating for their child

  • Performs school program visits

As a Behavior Analyst, Mary Elisabeth:

  • Provides home or school consultation

  • Observes students across environments and provides analysis and recommendations

  • Conducts independent assessments including Functional Behavior Assessments and Independent Skill Assessments. Assessments will be determined based on an initial consultation.

  • Provides an analysis of data provided, including further recommendations for how to collect data

  • Provides training opportunities for techniques in Applied Behavior Analysis



Northeastern University
Advanced Training Program, Applied Behavior Analysis, 2005-2006

Simmons College
MS, Education, Special Education & Teaching, 2003-2005

Wheaton College (MA)
Bachelor's degree, Psychology & Music, 1997-2001


  • Special Needs Advocacy Network since 2015

  • Council of Parents, Advocates & Attorneys (COPAA) since 2016

  • Council for Exceptional Children since 2016





Independent Educational Advocate & Transition Specialist

Helen Murphy

Helen has been a special educator and program director for 21 years. She also was a district wide Special Education Director for the Boston Public Schools for 18 years. During this time she also served as the district's Transition Specialist and was on the State-wide Planning Team. Helen is passionate about working with families, children as well as school districts. She brings a wealth of knowledge that allows her to strategize to obtain appropriate educational services.


References are available for any and all of our staff upon request.