Melissa Kremmel joined CTFSN in 2015. She has three children, including an adult son who is diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and a younger son with autism, food allergies, and asthma. Her youngest child has also been diagnosed with ADHD. Experiences in advocating for her children have led her to help other families. Melissa has previously served as Parent Co-Chair of the Waterbury Family Focus Partnership. She has also participated in the Connecticut Network of Care Transformation workshops and actively participates in network building for Connecticut’s western region. She was the Plymouth SEPTA president for four years and currently serves on the Plymouth Board of Education.
Family Support Coordinator ~ Deaf or Hard of Hearing Statewide
Liz Coleman joined our CTFSN family in March 2021. All of Liz’s three children have various needs. Her eldest has been diagnosed with ADHD, and her middle child was born Hard of Hearing. Liz’s experiences in advocating for her children was the catalyst for her passion to assist other families. Her main interests lie in advocacy and Deaf education. She is studying American Sign Language (ASL) at the University of Connecticut and is an active member of the local Deaf community.
Family Support Coordinator ~ Southeast Region
Kate Haaland is the mother of a 26 year old young man who has multiple disabilities, including intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is also a school based physical therapist in southeastern CT, working with students aged 3-22 years old. Kate has years of experience advocating and supporting her son in regards to his education, accessing and maintaining necessary educational supports, accessing medical care, increasing opportunities for him to be included in their local community, and securing funding as he transitioned to adult services. She and her son frequently testify at public hearings in support of funding and services for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Kate is also a member of the Regional Advisory Council, through DDS, in the south region, and is involved with “Families for Families” through the Arc of Connecticut. She feels strongly that creating safe spaces to celebrate successes and work through difficulties, as well as establishing relationships within our own communities is integral to all of our lives.
Family Support Coordinator ~ Northwest Region
Rachel Keesler joined CTFSN in 2021. She has two children; her 9 year old son was diagnosed with a rare neuro-metabolic disorder when he was 2 ½ years old. Rachel understands how important advocacy is and enjoys supporting other parents. Rachel also has experience supporting families through the PPT process as well as helping support families seek early intervention for their children. She was also a Parent Mentor for CPAC. Rachel earned a bachelor’s in psychology where she focused on families and children.
Family Support Coordinator ~ Southwest Region
Laverne Moore joined CTFSN in 2016. She has two children; her adult son has been receiving services since he was five years old. He has been diagnosed with ID, ADHD and LD. Laverne graduated from the PLTI, was a parent Mentor for Families United for Children’s Mental Health and created Norwalk Parents Supporting Parents Group. Laverne enjoys helping families to help themselves.
SARAH Solutions Family Support Coordinator
Family Support Coordinator ~South Central Region
Crystal Sacco is the mother of 3 children. Her eldest son is on the autism spectrum and lives in a Continuous Residential Supports (CRS) home where he is flourishing. As her son is an adult, Crystal was raising him during a time when autism was not studied as widely as it is today. She worked hard to ensure his good health and happiness. Crystal earned her bachelors in early childhood with a minor in special education. She has taken coursework in applied behavioral analysis and worked with special needs children in the paraprofessional capacity in reverse mainstream, mainstream self-contained and private settings for eleven years.