March 16, 2023
The Beachwood Neurodiversity Family Network created the Neurodiversity Champion Award to recognize school staff members whose work has helped neurodivergent students to feel included, understood, connected, and valued.
Our first Neurodiversity Champion is Meg Miller, an Intervention Specialist at Beachwood Middle School. It is clear in Ms. Miller’s interactions with her students how deeply she cares about and believes in them. She works to understand each student individually as a whole person and supports each of them to become the best version of themselves. She helps all of her students accept and embrace each other as-is and creates a positive and welcoming environment for everyone. The love students have for one another and for Ms. Miller is palpable when you enter their space.
A parent who nominated Ms. Miller shared:
"I believe Meg is a shining example of a Neurodiversity Champion, and we are grateful beyond words to be working with her.
My son attended kindergarten and 1st grade in another city, then transitioned to homeschool due to several difficulties that caused him to regress. We moved to Beachwood in July 2021, and he started at BMS in August 2021. Ms. Miller connected with us virtually before our move to Beachwood. She showed us some of her work, environment, and strategies she could use with our son. She even sent us a social story to prepare him with what to expect at Beachwood.
Ms. Miller made his transition easy. She dedicated extra time to get to know him, and my son very quickly went from hating school to loving it again. I was so impressed by the thoughtful goals, strategies, and ideas she came up with to incorporate into his IEP. In the past, I had to fight for the kinds of things that she was proactively suggesting. She worked together with the school’s Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and all of my son's existing ongoing interventions were appropriately included in his IEP and daily school life.
Ms. Miller's work ethic, professionalism, knowledge, and obvious love for her job had a tremendous positive impact on our family life, our transition to Cleveland, and, most importantly, on my son's life. With Ms. Miller, my son is happy and learning at a speed that I had never seen before in a less restrictive environment. For the 4 years prior to working with Ms. Miller, he had been in a 1:1 ABA setting, but in his time with Ms. Miller, he has become more independent, reliable, and focused than ever.
Meg is a great leader, always coordinating his supports and accommodations in general ed settings, to the point that my son meaningfully benefits from those experiences. This is something I had never witnessed before in other prior schools.
Meg deeply believes in her students. She works to understand them, then supports them to become the best version of themselves. She spends one period of their day working on how to recognize, accept, and appropriately manage emotions. She helps all of her students to accept and embrace each other just the way they are and creates a positive and welcoming environment for everyone. The love the students have for one another and for Ms. Miller is palpable when you enter their space. We cannot thank Ms. Miller enough for her dedication to her craft and to her students."
If you know a school staff member whose work has helped neurodivergent students to feel included, understood, connected, and valued, please nominate them here for a Neurodiversity Champion award.