Monika Jones - Changing the Way the World Looks at Our Children
Summary: We had a great conversation in today's episode with Monika Jones, a mom who abandoned her legal career after her first son was born with a massive unilateral brain malformation, which caused him to have hundreds of seizures a day and led to a surgery to remove half his brain. Monika has dedicated herself to serving the community of children who need brain surgery to stop seizures that medications cannot control. She is a staunch advocate for the educational rights of children with disabilities and believes that every child - no matter how complex their support needs - has the capacity to learn. Monika lives in Altadena with her husband, Brad, her boys Henry and Thomas, and two very spoiled dogs. In 2011, she and her husband founded the Brain Recovery Project to help children reach their full potential after epilepsy surgery. They were both frustrated with the lack of direction after surgery and wanted to help other parents navigate similar paths. “We didn't know what to do with our child [after surgery] to help him learn how to walk and learn how to talk. And was he ever going to read? What was his life going to be like? There was no roadmap, because research wasn't really focusing on what the effects of these surgeries are and how to improve the outcomes.” The Brain Recovery Project offers special education advocacy and parent education, in addition to family and professional conferences and other education initiatives.