About Dawn Gibson

    Dawn is a lifelong advocate for people with special needs.

    She grew up, and has many fond memories of her aunt, who had a cognitive disability. In high school, she babysat children that had various intellectual and physical disabilities, and also completed an independent study her senior year, being an assistant in a preschool special education classroom. During summers, between her years in college, she was a camp counselor, and group home assistant for adults with developmental disabilities. Her entire adult life has been focused on teaching and advocating for children with special needs, as well as working with parents, therapists, and other teachers and school administration.

Personal Bio

    Dawn was raised in rural Maryland, surrounded by soybeans and cows. She attended college in east Tennessee. After graduation she chose to stay, and called that state home for the next twenty-three years. In 2009 the family moved to Ohio, where it is not unusual to see the neighbor’s rogue llamas munching on the front yard, or stopping to watch a family of deer gliding over the back fence.

    In her spare time, Dawn loves to read, snap pictures of rural Ohio scenery, and peruse antique stores and flea markets. She finds joy in the daily chores, caring for the family’s dogs, cats, chickens, and horse. You can find her blogging about life over at https://gibsongirl247.wordpress.com/.

Professional Education / Certifications

  • Bachelor of Science in Special Education, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, TN, 1986-1990
  • Ohio Department of Education Intervention Specialist Professional License
  • Highly Qualified Educator as required under No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
  • Formerly certified in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention

Professional Experience

Independent Consultant, 17 years (2007-present)

  • IDEA and the rights of your child
  • Writing effective IEP goals
  • Participating in IEP meetings
  • Teaching children and parents
  • Life skills and transition plans
  • Diagnostic testing

Home Instruction, 14 years (2010-present)

  • Teach homebound middle and high school students

Special Education Teacher, 34 years (1990-present)

  • Member of Autism Peer Advisory Review Board, Knox County Schools, TN
  • Self-contained Comprehensive Developmental Classroom (CDC)
  • Satellite Classroom, Alternative School
  • Mentor to Special Education teachers in district schools
  • Job coach for high school special education students
  • Excel in writing and implementing relevant, measurable IEP goals


Reach out to Dawn » for consultation and help and for practical answers if you have a newly diagnosed child.

Join the Parent Support Network » to find answers and encouragement from parents and professionals who understand the challenges you face.

Or, just click any of the social media links at the bottom of the page.

© 2015 Dawn Gibson. All Rights Reserved. (Created by Scott Gibson)