Achieving Success


A Step in the Right Direction helped us navigate the confusing world of SST meetings, IEP's, and obtaining special assistance from our child's school to maximize her educational experience.


The first time I met Samantha McLean, was at an IEP workshop. It is to this day the best 2 hour workshop I have attended. I remember finally feeling a sense of direction and relief when I walked out of the building.

Before that day my husband and I were the sole advocates for our exceptional needs kiddo.

I remember hours of fruitless research, feeling overwhelmed, and lost in the jargon of an IEP. I was trying to navigate it all on my own, and trying to come up with a plan for him because the district had just given up. He was making no progress in school, and it had become a toxic environment. 

The day we met Samantha was the first day that my husband and I were were no longer on our own. We had a team. 

Samantha went in to the school and conducted several hours of observation. She saw first hand what the environment was for our son. She observed his responses, his behaviors, what was lacking, what he needed to be able to thrive in a school setting. She conducted a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA), and it is to date, the most thorough, evidence based, solid assessment done for our son.

We took her report and recommendations and we went in armed with her by our side to his next IEP. It was the first IEP in 6 years that I did not leave in tears. It was something we hadn’t had before. It was a solid well designed plan. We knew we had something now. 

We moved schools the following summer and we brought Samantha along with us to the new district. She has been with us at every IEP since, and we continue to have her go in to do observations throughout the school year. It has made all the difference. I tear up now for a different reason… she truly gave our son and family exactly what we needed. The name says it all, A Step in the Right Direction.

Our son is now thriving in a mainstream environment, and the days of elopement and wasted time are a thing of the past. He is making progress daily! A few months ago he received the award for most improved student in the 4th grade. My heart was full that day. Thank you so very much Samantha for your dedication, passion, and support. 

A parent who no longer feels so alone! 



As a parent of a child with exceptional needs, all too often we are left with defaulting to the recommendations of school administrators and support staff. We blindly accept that our children are getting what they need from schools to be the best versions of themselves. After all, they are receiving support from well trained, well educated, thoroughly experienced, passionate educators. Well, I’m here to say that, that couldn’t be any further from what is most often experienced. 

My son was struggling, regressing, after coming so far with years of ABA therapy. I was at a complete loss and desperate for answers. A Step in the Right Direction, was the answer. I no longer just had to accept the answers given by an understaffed, undereducated, under experienced, financially driven, decision making school district. I was empowered with undeniable fact based truths. The tables were turned. I am ecstatic to report that my child is no longer in a subpart educational environment. He is thriving in his new school, which utilizes every recommendation that Samantha McLean, from A Step in the Right Direction, made. Never has a name so appropriately optimized the service it provides. Thank you Samantha and A Step in the Right Direction. 

A loving father of an awesome kid!