Cheryl Temple, Principal Advocate

Cheryl’s many years of advocating successfully alongside families and school districts have taught her that effective, empowered advocacy for our children makes a world of positive difference, right from the first transition to preschool onward through graduation and beyond. She is committed to helping families find and use their own advocacy voices, as well as helping to ensure those voices are heard by all stakeholders and are effective, amid what can be an overwhelming & confusing process for families.

Cheryl possesses extensive professional AND personal experience with autism and believes that EVERY student can succeed when provided with the education they are entitled to & deserve. Cheryl advocates for families to work collaboratively with their school district in support of their students, and she strives to ensure that all families become more confident in their knowledge about the complex processes that govern special education. She coaches and helps empower families to develop and strengthen their own advocacy skills in support of their students.  

Through her work, Cheryl has advocated successfully for autistic students in more than 50 Massachusetts school districts. She has acquired a deep set of knowledge regarding the effective, evidence-based services & supports available to students with autism. She possesses substantial education, practical training & applied experience in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), social skills curricula, and effective strategies to support Executive Function and learning challenges; she is also knowledgeable about anti-bullying programs and federal & state mandates pertaining to bullying. She stays abreast of the federal and state laws & regulations pertaining to special education, particularly as they relate to students with autism. Cheryl routinely consults with the wide array of other proven professionals in her network who possess expertise in autism and neurodiversity, including psychologists, Board-Certified Behavior Analysts, educational evaluators, related service providers such as speech-language pathologists & occupational therapists, and attorneys.

Cheryl earned a BA in Psychology and a Certificate of Graduate Study in Behavioral Intervention in Autism. She is a member of numerous professional organizations related to special education, neurodiversity, and advocacy; she has presented workshops on autism education and advocacy; she frequently attends local and nationwide conferences, seminars, workshops and trainings in order to continually advance her knowledge of current and emerging issues in special education as well as Massachusetts and Federal laws & regulations. Cheryl completed the Parent Consultant advocacy training program with the Federation for Children with Special Needs and also completed Wrightslaw's Advocacy training. She formerly taught students with autism ages 3-22 for several years in a residential setting at a private, nonprofit autism education center and global leader in the provision of effective, evidence-based educational services for children with autism and their families.

Cheryl is also the devoted parent of a talented, resilient, confident and competent autistic young adult.