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Who We Are:

Action-oriented parents that hope to create a community of support

Nicole Mank, LMFT

Nicole Mank has over 25 years of experience working with children and families in various professional capacities.  In addition to being in private practice as a Licensed Family Therapist (LMFT), Nicole currently teaches in the Family Studies & Human Development Department at Sacramento State University and also serves as an Instructor for the Redwood SEED Scholars Program at UC Davis.  However, her love of teaching is not limited to higher education.  Nicole enjoys providing training for local professionals, including the staff of the Yolo County Office of Education and the Yolo County Crisis Nursery.  She has previously held positions serving families as a Parent Educator, Disability Advocate as well as a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) at UC Davis Children’s Hospital in the Neonatal Intensive Care Department for almost 5 years.  She is also a proud parent of 2 Neurodivergent Young Adults, who are her best teachers to date.

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Heidi Smith

I am a mother to a young adult with AuDHD, step-mother to two grown children, one of whom is also neurodivergent, and I am a very happy wife with my husband Bob.  I have lived in Davis for over 20 years and my children are all graduates of DJUSD.  My daughter was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder as a toddler and received additional diagnoses over time.  Throughout the years, I was exposed to multiple therapy recommendations, navigated the IEP process, established my daughter with our local regional center and have worked to educate myself about Autism and ADHD. My daughter attends Meristem, a program for young Autistic adults in Sacramento. I appreciate the wider perspective I have gained from loving our daughter and watching her grow.  I know that my life will continue to be enriched in unexpected ways while continuing to support our daughter.  

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Jennifer Abbanat

I am a ND parent to 3 ND kids that has worked endlessly to support each of them and how best to advocate for their diverse and unique needs.  My lived experience to try to support each of my kids is what brought me to learn about the current brain science of development, understanding relational safety, trauma-informed, relationship based and neuro affirming approaches to be the best advocate and parent for my kids. I "unschooled/homechooled" my son for 9 years as our local school district could not meet his needs and inhibited his ability to grow, thrive AND learn. I believe play is the foundation for all development and healing, and animals have been our avenue for connection and emotional regulation as a family. I have spent many years now helping support caregivers and families by educating and helping them develop the necessary tools that will help their child be the best version of themselves and bring balance back into their families. 

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Parent Coach,

Special Education Advocate & IEP Coach,

Trauma-Informed Consultant, C-TSS (Traumatic Stress Studies)

www.crowsnestadvocacy.com

"When a flower doesn't bloom

you fix the environment in

which it grows,

not the flower."-

-Alexander Den Heijer

Dr. Jennie Singer, Ph.D

I am a clinical psychologist by training, and I am currently practicing at Emerge Center for Social & Emotional Learning, a non-profit in Davis, CA.  I moved to Davis in 2000 to be with her now husband, Mitch, a professor of Microbiology at UCD.  We have been married for 22 years.  I have an older daughter from a prior marriage, a wonderful son-in-law, and a beautiful 2 yo grandson.  I also have a 20 yo daughter and a 17 yo son, who is on the autism spectrum, has ADHD, Tourette's Syndrome and sensory challenges. My son has had a lot of struggles in our school district, as well as my older 2 daughters.  I have a lot of experience with IEP and 504 meetings from advocating for my own children over the years and I continue to work to help others who are struggling within the school system. I live in Dixon, CA with my husband, my son and their four dogs.

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Does your parenting path look like this?

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Does your parenting look like this?

Look around our site to find free resources and join us in community that we hope you will find supportive and can lead you to a more joyful parenting path.

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