SMART IDEA GROUP, Inc. | 369 Peninsula Blvd, Suite #1 | Hempstead, NY, 11550 

(516) 225-0351 or (516) 455-0298 | fax: (516) 506-7901

Meet The Team

Jennifer Zimmerman


Jennifer Zimmerman is a special education advocate in New York with a lifelong passion for addressing the unique needs of the special needs population.  Jennifer grew up in a home of administrators and professors in both the New York Public School System and higher educational institutions.  Like her parents, she believes that all children have a right to an appropriate education and proper supports to meet their unique needs in preparation for their future.

Jennifer uses her intuition, expertise, insight and knowledge of available resources to help parents successfully advocate for their children.  Her researching and evaluation skills, letter writing expertise and ability to connect well with people has made her an invaluable support to her clients across Long Island and New York City.  Her unwavering support and dedication to making sure her clients get what they need and are entitled to by law has only strengthened her advocacy success.  Additionally, Jennifer has strong relationships with key thought leaders, medical and educational experts as well as decision makers in the Special Education Arena across Long Island.

Jennifer is a loving wife and the mom of two fantastic kids (one who has unique needs).   After more than 11 years of successfully advocating for her child with special needs, Jennifer has taken her passion, knowledge and skills to help other families in similar situations. Jennifer's advocacy and consulting services include but are not limited to: understanding each child's unique individual needs, evaluating critical information (e.g., IEPs, neuropsychology testing results, relevant medical, educational and social/emotional information), fostering relationships with key school district personnel, pediatric neurologists, neuropsychologists and other specialized medical practitioners, and developing strategic plans to help families obtain the most appropriate services for their child in the school system. Jennifer regularly attends trainings and courses related to special education advocacy. She is also a member of several professional organizations including Autism Speaks, Asperger's Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association, Wrightslaw, Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities and her own school district's Special Education Parents and Teachers Association.

 

Karen Mesnick


Karen Mesnick is a special education advocate who works with parents and families throughout Long Island, New York in securing educational services for their children with unique needs. Karen educates families with diverse, varied information and tools they need to play an active role in their journey to have their child’s needs productively met. She helps families navigate through the sometimes confusing and overwhelming special education process, while maintaining an atmosphere of team effort with the school system through clear and respectful communication. 
 
Karen is the mom of two amazing kids (one of whom has special needs), a loving wife and the Educational Director of Little Red Train Private School, located in Hempstead, NY. After 14 years of successfully advocating for her son with special needs, Karen has taken her knowledge and skills to help other families in similar situations. Karen's advocacy and consulting services include but are not limited to: understanding each child's unique individual needs, evaluating critical information (e.g., IEPs, neuropsychology testing results, relevant medical, educational and social/emotional information), developing strategic plans to help families obtain the most appropriate services for their child in the school system. Karen is very well versed in alternative, out-of-district school placements and matching children to the right school for them.  She is savvy in terms of knowing the "ins and outs" of working with school districts to secure appropriate alternative placements (NYS-approved and non NYS-approved public and private schools).  Karen has visited many alternative schools in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Virginia as part of her ongoing special needs advocacy work. Karen regularly attends trainings and courses related to special education advocacy. She is also a member of several professional organizations including the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Autism Speaks, Asperger's Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association, Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, Autism Society of America, Wrightslaw and her own school district's Special Education Parent Teacher Association.


The SMART IDEA GROUP provides comprehensive, affordable educational advocacy.  Through an intuitive understanding of kids, from a dynamic approach to intervention, our practice supports partnership and collaboration based upon years of experience as special education advocates, consultants, coordinators and parents of our own children with unique needs.  

What sets us apart from the rest?  We are accomplished, successful advocates who genuinely care about ALL children with unique needs and will go above and beyond what is expected to help secure a positive future for your child. Our driving force is that we strongly believe in the power of early intervention and advocating for critical services your child may be entitled to under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). We understand the critical importance of knowing and understanding the special education laws; which are constantly changing. Together, we will work tirelessly to build a solid foundation for your child's future. We are dedicated to helping children and their families through their own unique, often overwhelming journey.  The end goal is to help every child flourish and become outstanding adults with promising futures.