Melissa Beery

Family Partner Family Peer Support Panelist

Family Peer Support Worker

My path to becoming a Family Peer Support Worker started when my grandson was in first grade. His elementary school had no idea how to effectively manage his behaviors and provide him with an education. Things had gotten so bad they had placed him in a transportable by himself with two adults. When he escalated, which they usually caused, they would physically hold him down on the floor. In desperation, I reached out to the family organization in NM at that time, Parents of Behaviorally Different Children. I was assigned a family advocate, she was terrific. She informed me what my real choices were, since the school district had only provided me with the options they wanted. She drove up to Los Alamos multiple times to support me in meetings with the school. She prepped me ahead of time so I knew what to ask for and what the law around special education provides. She provided me with resources and ideas to help me getting my grandson the help he needed.

As a NM certified family peer support provider, I bring the lived experience, over the years we have experienced individual therapy, family therapy, play therapy, equine-based therapy, art therapy, sand tray therapy, IEP’s, FBA’s and BIP’s. We have dealt with multiple therapists, psychiatrists and out of home placements all in hopes of finding a solution for his often out of control and unsafe behaviors. His issues are rooted in the abuse and neglect he suffered in the early years of his life. Supported families are stronger, more resilient families, and when you are raising a child with emotional, behavioral, or developmental challenges, that is critical and that is what Family Peers bring to the family’s they work with.

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