"I met Vanetta LaRossa 11 years ago, just prior to the conception of Helping Hands Children’ s services. She was a behaviorist hired by my school District to assess a behaviorally challenged special education student who had the ability to thrive in the mainstream academically. She single handedly changed the course of my son’s academic career and life in one month and has been a valued professional, friend and colleague since.
Vanetta took a smart, autistic child in a self-contained classroom and turned his life around to the wonders of learning, coping and having fun along the way! Her “keen insight” into "who" he is and teaching the school staff and District to look at the world through "his" eyes was truly transforming for all involved on his team. The path she set for him with the mandatory and understanding supports in place via his IEP, allowed my child not only to successfully transfer with his behavioral intervention plan out of State but also open the eyes to professionals in another School District that mainstream inclusion is possible and can be successfully rewarding for all involved.
My son's autism diagnosis has not changed nor did his need for supports through his academic career but he proudly graduated from High School with an academic diploma in Spring, 2014. His desire for this was self-driven but his success achieving this is truly a consequential result of an amazing professional who’s insight, dedication and determination to get a team to open their eyes to "his" world was the true key to opening the door to his driven success.
Not long after Vanetta met my son; Helping Hands ministry started on Saturday mornings adding a new dimension and needed structure to my son's life and that of my family. A program such as this was nonexistent at the time and the value it added from a respite for me to a full day of fun for my son was invaluable. I enjoyed seeing my son make friends, try new things and learn to carry his "BIP" into multiple settings to enhance his success. In addition; her choice of staffing was an awesome compliment and reflection of her work and mission.
Since my move out of State in 2005, Vanetta has always remained close to my son’s success; always willing to listen, offer advice and even come to visit if necessary! She is a very special , driven individual who tirelessly looks to better the playing field for the special needs community both professionally and personally and my family is extremely fortunate to have crossed her path many year ago on our journey.
Congratulations to Helping Hands on 10 years in the process; I look forward to many years of watching this amazing group of professionals continue to share their knowledge and devotion to our families for many years to come."
- Ellen M. Macri, February 2015
"Vanetta LaRosa has been a friend and professional associate for over 14 years. I am the parent of a 30 year old with disabilities and a clinical social worker by profession. I teach child development and exceptional child as an adjunct professor in the psychology department at a local community college. My husband has had a long standing relationship with Vanetta as well As the retired principal of a program for children with developmental and emotional needs he has had Vanetta consult with staff and write behavioral plans for children. We have both worked with and know Vanetta over many years and have seen her interactions with children, adults, staff and agencies as well as government entities
Vanetta is an outstanding individual with exceptional skills She has single-handedly established Helping Hands and has helped countless children and families through their Saturday Recreation Program and School Consultation Services. My son who has PDD, Intellectual Disability and ADHD as well as his wife who has Down Syndrome serve as peer mentors in the Helping Hands saturday recreation program This experience has added enormously to their self esteem and quality of life.
Vanetta's programs are exceptionally well run and each and every individual has a plan to meet their specific needs. Staff is caring and very competent. I am proud to know Vanetta and count her as one of the shining lights in our profession. She is creative, innovative and extremely respectful of the potential of the individuals she serves always striving to help them realize their hopes and dreams. I would like to send a personal you to Vanetta ,as a parent, for her understanding and support during many difficult times and transitions with my son Joe."