I truly appreciate my ongoing clients who take a moment to write a review on my Facebook page or email me at April@NorthCountyAdvocacy.com
Shay M. 01/05/2018 As any parent of a special needs child knows, we very often find ourselves in challenging & overwhelming situations. In the effort to provide my child with the best possible care medically, educationally & beyond, I encountered some very difficult processes & despite my best efforts was unsuccessful in securing the benefits my child was entitled to due to his medical diagnosis. I have never been given a better recommendation than the advocacy services of April Villafana. April assisted us through the process of applying for IHSS for my son & was instrumental in the final successful outcome of receiving his benefits. She was extremely helpful in explaining things & assisting us through every step of the process and was always available for consultation & questions. We had applied unsuccessfully on our own but with April’s guidance we were successful in our next attempt & my son received the maximum of benefits. She could not have been more thorough, helpful & communicative. We are so thankful we were referred to her services.
Amanda W. 05/07/2017 I can’t say enough great things about April Villafana! April helped our family obtain In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) for our son, Ryker, which wasn't a quick or easy feat! We applied when he was only two years old, so even after April spent time with me reviewing the IHSS Nuts and Bolts Handbook and helped me figure out what categories to "go for", based on his specific needs, we were initially denied (which is typical for a child so young). But April's help didn't stop with the denial! She attended a home re-assessment by the social worker as my advocate and, after we were denied again, she helped me with the appeal process (prepping supportive documents to prove his needs and preparing my written statement). Finally, she sat with us when we had our court date with the judge to support us an advocate. Honestly, if it weren't for her knowledge, time investment, and incredible help and support, I don't believe we would have made it through the process! We are so grateful for all of her help!
Mo M. 05/19/2017 I was lucky to meet April almost five years ago, shortly after our Fiona was born. After moving cross-country, and then back to San Diego, she had been a HUGE advocate and resource for our family to help insure an amazing future for our daughter. When we were going through Due Process last year she was there to help guide us and bounce ideas off of. When I started the process of applying for IHSS she had so much knowledge to guide us through the process and what documentation would help us get the most for Fiona and to make it a smooth and easy process. We are so lucky and thankful for her expertise and how she genuinely cares for everyone she advocates for. She not only is very knowledgeable in IHSS and IEPs but also knows so much about local resources and programs. Thanks April for always fighting to help kids get best to help them reach their fullest potential!
Bethany W. 01/11/2018 I wish we’d met April seventeen years ago! My son Evan has Down syndrome and it’s been a roller coaster ride of IEP meetings, health issues, and trying to apply for needed services that would benefit him educationally, physically, and emotionally. We met April around a year ago, and what she was able to do for us in this year has changed our lives, and I finally feel like I have someone on our team who is knowledgeable, savvy to IEP’s and IHSS services and truly cares about my son and our family. Thank you April Villafana!
Tiffany G. 09/19/2017 After two years of fighting back and forth with IHSS, I was fed up, and so tired of the whole system. As soon as I contacted April Villafana things began to move in the right direction. My son was finally approved for Protective Supervision within a couple of short months, all thanks to April. April Villafana was so easy to work with, and truly has your child's best interest at heart. I would recommend her to anyone looking for guidance, advocacy, appeals, or even if you just simply have questions about the In-Home Supportive Services program. Thanks April for everything!
Nicole P. 02/20/2018 April Villafana Advocacy is exceptional in every way. April is knowledgeable, thorough, responsive, professional and caring. She has been a highly effective champion for our child, while still fostering positive relationships with others, so that various groups (for IEP and IHSS) are working towards a common goal.....the best for our child! April delivers results, and we couldn't be happier with our decision to work with her. Highly, highly recommend April Villafana Advocacy.
Abbey G. 02/09/2018 I found April on Facebook and called her for a phone consult. She was honest and forthcoming with knowledge from day one. She has helped me successfully navigate the IHSS system and assisted us in getting Regional Center benefits. Currently she is helping us get our IEP in order. Her knowledge is invaluable and her kindness is just the bonus we all get! I literally could not have done all this without her help, great advice and care.
Edith W. 08/30/2017 April is amazing. She helped me secure $3,400 in monthly Protective Supervision IHSS benefits for my Autistic son. I also will never show up to another IEP meeting unless April can attend. Wow night-and-day difference when I have April as a professional advocate on my side. The school stopped saying no, and started being open to collaboration. She is a true TEAM builder.
Amanda B. 07/09/2017 I am so lucky I was referred to April from another parent. My son is now three years old. April has been his advocate for over two years. From help with obtaining IHSS, to general Medi-Cal questions, to helping resolve disputes within the school system, April has been by my side. She is worth every dollar and more! Her heart is truly with her clients and their special needs child. Thank you April for all you have done for Ben and I.
Kinga S. 01/08/2018 I was referred to April by a friend, a few months ago, and I'm so happy that I was! April helped my husband and I with our son's IEP and transition into a new program. She helped us through every step of the long process. She also observed my son at school, and joined me as I toured his new program. This was helpful because it gave us yet another set of eyes to aid our decision. She is extremely easy to work with, as well as personable and professional. For any parent going through the workings of an IEP, the process can be very overwhelming and scary. Having someone like April, who knows the right questions to ask is so great! April went above and beyond, and walked us through everything in great detail, which in-turn made us feel comfortable with the decision process. If I ever have the opportunity I will always refer my friends and acquaintances to her. She is seriously the best! Thank you so much April!
Melissa T. 01/24/2018 I was staying awake at night in frustration that my child was not receiving the assistance required to be successful in school. Why didn't he deserve the other therapies and aides and support other kids seem to get handed to them? Finally I heard about April, and thank goodness for my friend's recommendation. April let me know my rights, calling an IEP instead of waiting for the annual meeting, audio recording, asking for real assessments not just informal ones. We needed two IEP meetings, the one we called, the annual, and will need at least one more meeting to review assessments. I know I am in good hands. Finally I got the apologies from the school staff and teacher I have been waiting for. Happy tears of relief. Finally we have real academic goals, and a whole page of accommodations and other assistance measures. Hire April, you will learn to be your child's voice and she will teach you to be confident and supported in this confusing process.
Taylor K. 04/16/2018 I cannot speak more highly of April and how amazing she is at her job. I honestly thought getting my daughter an IEP was hopeless. The school continued to tell me she was fine and didn’t need one. As a mother, I knew in my gut something wasn’t right and my daughter needed help. I heard about April through a friend and contacted her immediately and I’m so happy I did! April reassured me that my daughter did qualify for an IEP, and she made me confident that we would get her one. About a month after contacting April, and the school reassessing, my daughter was approved for an IEP! Last year it took me the whole school year, trying my hardest, on my own, to get my daughter an IEP (and I was denied). But this year with April’s help we were able to get her an IEP almost immediately! She really did fight for my child and made sure she got the help she needed and deserved. I will forever be grateful to April and I recommend her to anyone struggling with the same thing!
Sandy C. 05/13/2017 For the last few years my IEPs had not been very good, so this year I got smart and brought April as my advocate to the IEP. It turned into a four-part IEP thanks to April's detailed scrutiny of the goals, language, and time for services. My district wanted to short change my daughter in so many areas. As a result, my daughter got everything she deserved and much… much more. I highly recommend April for the job. She's very knowledgeable about our rights and because she also has a daughter with special needs, she puts her heart into every interaction. I should have hired April years ago!
Jill M. 07/10/2017 If your little one has any type of special need, you want Mrs. April Villafana at your side during your child's IEP meeting. She came to our home, met my son, observed him in both his special ed class and gen ed class, consulted with me regarding my parent rights, and attended his IEP meeting. She was polite to everyone on the "other side of the table" but spoke up when needed... to ensure my child got the help he is entitled to, and more services (school based therapies). April is amazing, don't think twice about hiring her advocacy service. You are a lucky mom if she takes your child's case!
Sandra G. 05/07/2017 I cannot begin to tell you how amazing April is. She was extremely instrumental in getting our daughter the placement we felt was best when she turned three years old. She has so much knowledge about the laws, and really helped inform us on what assessments and services to expect and ask for. April was a huge help in establishing our daughter's goals for her initial IEP. I am forever grateful to April Villafaña.... she is AWESOME!
Stephanie H. 05/08/2018 April's been such a blessing to our family. I was initially worried retaining an Advocate would be viewed as aggressive or confrontational. Overall I had a decent relationship with my daughter's teacher and IEP team, but they just did not believe in the many RESEARCHED benefits of inclusion. However, as soon as our daughter's special education coordinator heard we hired April, she said: I worked with her before, and I am so glad you hired April Villafana to support you. April's advocacy services ultimately helped put my daughter back on track for inclusion. And not just mainstreaming, true and meaningful inclusion in her general education class. April thank you for listening to me, thank you for crying with me, thank you for being at my side at every IEP meeting. It has been a successful year because of you! We can't wait for next year also. High expectations deliver good results.
Jenny R. 03/13/2018 April offers valuable advocacy services. She is very sensible and discerning. We are forever grateful for the overall improvements in our child's education and Regional Center services. She was very professional and patient with our family. We hope to use her service annually. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Debbie R. 01/25/2018 April is awesome. So caring, but most of all she listened to my concerns as a parent to my daughter. It was a wonderful experience. Had an IEP meeting and really helped me navigate through all the hoops and loops. We increased our daughter mainstream time. Very happy with the outcome. Recommend her 100%.
John C. 04/29/2018 April Advocacy knows how to read their faces- Knows where to hold them, when to fold them, when to walk away and when to run- Told us when to run to a special education attorney. Very pleased with our child's final outcome. Thank you April Advocacy for your participation, advise and direction.
Marlene F. 10/10/2018 April is the best. She helped me on a service issue with our son's IEP. With her thorough knowledge and savviness, I was able to argue effectively with the District about the problem. Not only is she well versed in IEPs, but also services with the Regional Center. If you want an advocate who will support the needs of your child, April is the person you need to speak with!
Becke S. 05/13/2017 I recently went through the process of my son's first IEP and with April by my side I didn't stress out. She is a wealth of knowledge and made sure I was prepared. There is a lot to know about advocating for your child and she is the first person I recommend anyone turning to.
Karyn S. 06/11/2017 I have worked with April in a variety of endeavors, including program committee for Involved Exceptional Parents Day (IEP Day). She is passionate and objective, with unmatched concern for other families. April often consults with me about children who are in need of speech and language treatment, and works hard to connect them to viable options. I highly recommend her services.
Alexis G. 06/05/2018 I heard April and a group of special education attorneys present at the IEP Day Conference in San Diego. She had very practical, and excellent advice for parents. I look forward to hearing her speak again in the future.
Veronica G. 05/13/2017 We want to thank April Villafana for being our family's advocate. Our daughter Galilea is only fourteen months old, she was born with Down syndrome, and we did not know the importance of the IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) and how every single word that is in writing could affect her future, until we met April. Her knowledge and professionalism has helped us to understand the process and how to request services that our daughter needs, and now is receiving. It is very important that we as a family educate ourselves to help advance our kid’s future. April is a person that is willing to help families and she has made a difference in our lives, and most important in Galilea’s life. Thank you April!
Yesica F. 05/07/2017 After moving from Riverside to San Diego, I was totally lost with all the services for my baby (sixteen months old). I am so glad that I had the opportunity to meet April. She has been a great resource and a support when it comes to answering my IFSP questions and guiding me to the appropriate resources.
Heather M. 10/12/2017 April is quick to get back to you and very knowledgeable! She helped us with an issue with Regional Center, and not only helped expedite the process, but helped ease my mind with it. Thanks!
Marie B. 05/12/2017 April has helped us with so many issues ranging from respite, Medi-Cal Waiver, and more. We refer all the families we know to her and she gets in contact with them right away. Thanks!
Karen F. 05/12/2017 April is incredibly knowledgeable about so many things related to raising a child with special needs. She knows what to ask for from your school district or Regional Center worker and how to ask correctly to really get it, which is not always easy! She is an excellent advocate.
Nick G. 05/08/2017 April helped our family a lot. We are new to the country, but she helped us to receive a lot of services for our daughter at school, helped us to deal with Regional Center, explained how Medi-Cal works for kids with special needs, and much more. April always very quick to answer and to explain what is going on and what we should do. Thank you, April!
Cory D. 05/07/2017 I cannot say enough good things about April Villafaña! She is so knowledgeable and supportive. She takes the time to walk you through any process you need help with and she makes sure you understand the information at hand.
Jenn H. 04/30/2018 Both April and I have kiddos with Down syndrome around the same age and have gotten to know each other through different events and social media groups. She has always been one of my "go to" mamas, and has over the years has given advice or showed me down the right path whenever questions came up (and oh did they come up!) As Finn began to grow older, we thought that maybe we had reached a point where IHSS might be an option for us and he would qualify based on his needs. We spoke in the summer for a consult, and after consulting many other mamas I thought that I would do something brave...and apply on my own! It wasn't long before I called April and begged, "Help Me! I think I really screwed this up!" She was so calm and confident and lovingly took us on as clients (and she never once said "I told you so!"). Her organization and knowledge is just so amazing. In fact, during our initial home visit SHE was handing the social worker papers HE needed. More than anything, she just took such a HUGE load off my plate and I felt safe and guided the entire process. Even when I felt the fear rise up and asked, "But what if they..." questions (and there was many), she would just give me a reassuring smile and tell me, "Don't worry, we'll get Finn what he deserves". She was always reasonable and continually puts the needs of the child at the front of the fight. Although, with all her help we had a smooth process with no major bumps that she couldn't handle. She held our hands the whole way through, and I'm happy to report that just as her smile promised, Finn was awarded the hours that he was deserving of and our family had found a new balance in our life. She truly is amazing and my only regret was that I hadn't said YES from the get go. Being a parent to a child with special needs can sometimes feel so overwhelming and there are just so many hurdles to jump over. I've always believed that you don't have to know all the answers, you just need to know someone else who DOES and April DOES! I feel so grateful to have made a connection with her early on and I feel lucky to have her in Finn's corner. Let April help you, she is worth every penny and then some!
Joori H. 05/07/2018 We have a daughter who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at age 4 1/2. We had to move from another country to the United States in order to get the service that she needs. Things have been really challenging for me. There were so many moments where I felt frustrated, sad and hopeless. Since I am a foreigner, and my first language is not English, most steps were not easy, and I felt so frustrated time to time. Whenever I needed someone to help, April Villafana was there for me, and gave me prompt assistance. I had met April Villafana at my first support group meeting for families with children with special needs last summer at Sunset Park. As a beginner traveler along this long life journey, simply knowing someone was there already had meant a lot to me. Then April Villafana assisted me when applying for IHSS service. She gave us help, support, practical tips, and critical advice all through the process. April Villafana is a Professional Advocate, an expert her field, a sweet person, kind and friendly. April has been so wonderful, and I know I wouldn’t have received what I needed from IHSS without her help. I strongly recommend her being a part of your challenging journey, with your special little one. I feel very lucky to have encountered April in my life. Thank you, April for all you do for my family!
Viviana C. 05/08/2017 April has been a blessing to our family. When my son was born with Down syndrome and other heath conditions, I felt so overwhelmed and then I had to not only worry about the medical side, but his new relationship with Regional Center for his early intervention program, therapists, IFSP, etc. I met April when my son was born through the Down Syndrome Association. April was always available for support, advice, and questions. April not only made me feel at ease by sharing all the medical knowledge she knew and referrals. Due to her experience, I was able to get my son the best doctors, therapists, for his entire medical needs. April’s expertise and knowledge has been a benefit to him from infancy up to now. She was phenomenal with all his IFSP’s and I got to know what was available such as speech, free signing programs at Crimson Center, a year of free preschool through the HOPE program, loner hearing aids, respite, IHSS, and much more. My favorite part of using her advocacy has been that I am learning from such a great example in how to be an advocate for my son and help others as she has done. When my son transitioned from IFSP’s to IEP’s I was so grateful to have April, as I was standing up for my son to be in a full-inclusion program. I knew I was in good hands with April, as she has had to advocate for her own daughter, and has been successful. I’ve witnessed so many families she has helped, and the difference she has made for these kiddos in schools, and with IHSS. Matthan’s first IEP went wonderful, we got my son speech, OT, PT, and with April being so knowledgeable and expertise my son was able to stay at his preschool with typical kids, two days a week until now. We are scheduled for his second IEP next week, and we have full confidence it will turn out great, and even better than if I was just my husband, and I alone. April is amazing, well-known, dedicated, and extremely knowledgeable. April makes a tremendous difference with kiddos with disabilities, and also with typical kids that need an IEP due to ADHD or other reasons that may interfere with their education. I am extremely confident in April’s assistance, as I use her advocacy for two of my sons! April is extremely organized, her manner is exceptional, and it is evident in all her success stories.
Norma V. 05/28/2017 Let me tell you about my experience with April Villafana. My son started school five months ago. I thought everything was great. He came home happy, always anxious to go to school, nice staff. However, this only went on for a bit. My son started coming home with wet bibs, dirty diapers, he wasn’t being taken out of his stroller (he is non-mobile and non-verbal). My complaints were not being heard. It broke my heart to see my baby trying to get an aide’s attention, reaching his little arm out asking to be let out to play. I come back to my son’s IEP, the one we had right before he started school. I didn’t realize how important it was to know my rights and my son’s. I just went along with most things being said and offered, yet, even then, it wasn’t being done. This is how I met April Villafana. My son’s therapist knows her personally, and she is well known in the community for special needs kiddos. I hear many great things from a friend as well, so she gave me her contact information, and we went from there. April is professional, as well as caring. I’ve had people tell me, “I know how you feel”? Well, unless they are a special needs parent, they don’t. I didn’t feel that way with April. Why? Because she’s had these issues, as well as many others to overcome, with her daughter. April knows what I felt, and I couldn’t hold back tears as I poured my heart out. My son was not being treated right, and all I want for him is to enjoy school and be treated with respect. Why is this so much to ask from the school? What are my rights as a parent? How can I make this better? How do I get the teacher and aides to cooperate? Why didn’t I look in to what an IEP really meant before going? This and many other questions ate me up for weeks. We called another IEP, got things going, and met yesterday. I have never felt so relieved having someone on my side, someone who is not afraid to ask and demand any little thing we might need. It went perfect! I love that April is well mannered and knows how to word our needs. I sadly lack that. My emotions get in the way. It goes downhill from there. Besides all of that, I still have a long ways to go when It comes to the special needs education. I feel it is important to have someone like April by your side for IEP meetings, and any concerns not being met by the school. She knows the ins-and-outs of the system so we don’t have to do much work on that part. I have my babies to take care of. April is a professional at this. I left all the paperwork to her and trusted her to advocate for my son. That’s exactly what she did, and more.
Gina B. 05/17/2017 When I first moved out to San Diego I didn't know anybody, or the help that my son, Caleb, was missing out on. I thought Regional Center was the only place that offered my son help, as I knew no one that had kids with Down syndrome. I went to a couple of Down syndrome meetings but I didn't really meet anyone. Mostly people would ask me questions about Caleb since he was the oldest (he was two years old then) and everyone else had babies. As a newly divorced mom I was struggling with Caleb because I felt he wasn't get the proper help. Caleb wasn't talking and he was having a hard time walking. By now he was three years old and his Doctor, nor the Regional Center offered any help when I asked. Fast-forward to two years later and I met April. April has not only been amazing, but a blessing and Godsend! She helped me get Caleb on the right track. I was able to get PT, OT, Speech, and a Behaviorist for my son! My Caleb was so behind that in the few months that he has started his therapies... his speech, walking, and his fine motor skills have all improved. It's amazing to see how well Caleb is doing from a year ago. I'm so proud of him, but without April's help my baby wouldn't be advancing so well. Not only that but she was able to help me get an Intra-District Transfer after I was told no! My son was able to stay in his school after we moved to another city. I love California Avenue Preschool! The teachers and staff are awesome there! My Caleb loves them all and it was important for me to keep Caleb there. I can't thank April enough because she also helped Caleb get on the right track with his IEPs and he was able to get an extra session of OT a week! She's awesome! Not only has she always answered my questions, or been there with me for his IEPs, but she also told me about IHSS. Although it has been a long process, it's been worth it. April continues to help and guide me through the IHSS paperwork and follows up for me. I am SO thankful for all that she has done and continues to do for us. We love you April!! Plus, I've gotten to know her on a personal level and she's a wonderful mommy to two beautiful girls! I just love her little family. So please, if you need an advocate, look no further! April will help you as she is knowledgeable and a wealth of information. She is the BEST!
Kelly W. 05/15/2017 What a blessing this lady is!!! She is so knowledgeable, understanding and helpful. Thanks to her we got all of our IHSS needs met! Thank you April!
Jill W. 05/08/2017 If it weren't for April, we wouldn't have even known about IHSS! With her help, we traveled through the complicated process and got qualified.
Zaira O. 05/09/2017 April is wonderful! She is very educated in IHSS nuts and bolts. Responsive to questions and phone call in a timely manner.
Heather G. 05/07/2017 April was so great to work with. She walked me through the entire IHSS process. She answered every question I had. She is very organized and responsive.
Delilah T. 05/07/2017 April was very helpful with our IHSS application; we are blessed to have met her! She is extremely professional and prompt to respond. Thank you for your help April!
Jwana A. 07/21/2017 I want to take a moment to thank April Villafaña for the knowledge she passed down to me, and for helping me get the maximum hours from IHSS (283 hours/ month)... thank you so much!
Cory D. 05/07/2017 I cannot say enough good things about April Villafaña! She is so knowledgeable and supportive. She takes the time to walk you through any process you need help with and she makes sure you understand the information at hand.
Guille A. 05/15/2017 April Villafaña is very knowledgeable and a great resource for special needs families. I appreciate her quick responses to my questions and her willingness to help. Definitely recommend!
Candice W. 05/07/2017 She has changed our lives! I am so thankful for her help and direction! She has been Godsend.
Anne H. 09/11/2017 I did a consulting session with April (over lunch) to learn more about the San Diego area and she was extremely knowledgeable and helpful.
Rick D. 05/08/2017 I cannot say enough about April and her experience, selfless service, care, and knowledge about all things special needs. She has forgotten more than I will ever know on the subject.
Sally S. 05/08/2017 April is highly knowledgeable and so very helpful! She is great!
Nicole H. 05/18/2017 If you need an advocate I would highly recommend April Villafana.
Marci T. 05/07/2017 April is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. She's always willing to help.
Christy C. 05/18/2018 April was wonderful to work with and went above and beyond to help and support us through the IHSS process. I highly recommend her! She's a wonderful and very accomplished advocate!
Ashley P. 05/07/2017 April is extremely knowledgeable and supportive! She helped us through my daughters IHSS appeal and her IEP. If it weren’t for April my daughter would not be receiving the services she is currently receiving.
Robin D. 08/17/2017 We got IHSS' Protective Supervision! It took six months but we got it. Thank you April Villafaña! I started off doing it by myself but then when we received our denial I knew we needed help. April's advocacy got us a reassessment instead of having to go to appeal. April Villafaña Advocacy, thank you! I highly recommend her.
Ashley H. 05/15/2017 April is amazing. She helped guide me through the entire IHSS process. And also helped with my daughter's IPP and Regional Center. And has even advised me on the IEP. She is very knowledgeable, as well as very sweet and kind. Her heart is in the right place. If you want someone who truly wants to help your child, she's the person.