DCSpecialEdInsider was created in 2013 by a DC special education parent advocate to bring a spotlight to the challenges of special education in Washington DC; and to provide a forum where parents, families, teachers, administrators, advocates and education stakeholders can better navigate the unique special education culture in all of DC’s public schools.
Molly Laychak Whalen is a Washingtonian and a mom of two children on the autism spectrum and has a passion for improving the environment of special education for all stakeholders. Since the diagnosis of her children over a decade ago, she has matched her leadership, development and advocacy skills to the challenge of creating a positive experience for parents and families of children with special needs within the Washington DC educational community. She and her husband, a 30-year veteran police detective with the MPD, are life-long Washington DC residents and committed to the DC public school system.
Molly is currently serving as a member of the State Advisory Panel (SAP) for Special Education in the District of Columbia, which she was appointed by Mayor Adrian Fenty in 2007, and served as Chair from 2008-2012. She was appointed and served on the DC Mayorial Education Transition Executive Committee in 2011.
In 2011 she was honored with the St. John’s Community Services Advocacy Award for her service in supporting people with disabilities. Molly appeared on The Kojo Nnamdi Show in April 2013 “Educating Special Needs Kids”.
Since 2010, Molly has worked on the administration team at The Ivymount School in Rockville, MD.
For over a decade, Molly has testified, served on committees and task forces, and participated in thousands of meetings all focused on special education. She does this to be the best advocate for her children and to hopefully make it just a little bit easier for other families who are beginning this special needs journey.