ASK & ACES, LLC Joins The Option Group to Fill Gaps in Advocacy & Care at Every Stage of Life
HUNT VALLEY, MD – August 2, 2023, Mary Jo Siebert, a seasoned Educational Law consultant with a psychology background and over four decades of experience, has announced her merger with Ellen Platt of The Option Group, reinforcing their mission to offer a comprehensive continuum of care for individuals and family caregivers. With a career spanning services provided to children, adolescents, and adults diagnosed with autism, cerebral palsy, ADHD, and rare neurological disorders, Mary Jo’s alliance with The Option Group heralds a new era of holistic care.
Mary Jo brings a wealth of knowledge from her years at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and her ground-breaking work with ASK and ACES, LLC, her independent practice launched in 2003. The fusion of these organizations is set to transform how families and individuals can access disability care and services across Maryland, Northern Virginia, Southern Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
Ellen is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Care Manager, and a Certified Aging Life Care Manager. She has over 35 years of experience providing care management, advocacy, placement, and care coordination services to those with catastrophic injuries, chronic diseases, and disabilities and those aging and navigating longevity. Under her leadership, The Option Group has been a trailblazer in the senior industry.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in 2021–22, the number of students ages 3–21 who received special education and/or related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was 7.3 million or the equivalent of 15 percent of all public school students. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 26% (one in 4) of adults in the United States have some type of disability.
“The statistics underscore the critical need for care essentially from birth to death. Our goal is to ensure that no family feels alone in their life journey to access the care they deserve so they can reach their highest potential,” said Mary Jo. “By joining forces with The Option Group, we are well-positioned to provide comprehensive services that span a person’s life, truly offering a ‘lifetime of care’ for those in need.”
The merger means that families will have increased access to several critical services, including:
- Educational advocacy services
- Transitional support services in navigating school and community systems
- Assistance in accessing crucial services
- Help in securing funding through the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)
- And a wide range of Life Care Management & Care Coordination services, including:
- Crisis Intervention
- Healthcare Navigation
- Facility Placement
- Healthcare Budgeting
- Family Education
- Resources Coordination
- Patient Advocacy
- Legal Resources
The combined services aim to empower families, foster independence, and champion the rights of individuals with disabilities. Integrating Mary Jo’s expertise with The Option Group’s already robust services will provide an unparalleled service offering. Families can expect personalized advocacy, training, and a range of support services based on their unique needs. The new partnership will extend support from individualized school and community-based services to providing a comprehensive lifetime care plan.
Ellen Platt, MEd, CRC, CCM, President of The Option Group adds, “We believe that all people with disabilities of all ages need to understand their rights and be able to use those rights to advocate for services, directly or indirectly. This merger represents an opportunity for us to extend our current reach within the adult and aging population to include children and adolescents.”
About The Option Group:
Founded in 2010, The Option Group’s compassionate team of experienced Certified Life Care Managers serves families, their loved ones, medical professionals, and professional family advisors in Maryland, Northern Virginia, Southern Pennsylvania, and Delaware. The firm understands the challenges of caring for an individual who needs assistance due to aging, dementia, disability, or serious illness. Their skilled providers possess over 100 years of combined experience navigating the healthcare maze and accessing hundreds of quality resources. The Option Group helps families spend quality time with their loved ones, providing clear choices that lead to better care. For more information, visit www.theoptiongroup.net or call 410-667-0266 (MD) or 717-287-9900 / 610-885-8899/ 215-896-6756 (PA) / or 302-858-6449 (DE).
Dina Wasmer, CMO