“Inaction is not an option; the silence is not working.”
Marcie Lipsitt lives in Michigan with her husband, son and three dogs. She was born feeling the ills, pain and prejudice that plagued children like her sister with severe learning disabilities and brother with ADHD; a father with Bipolar Disorder and OCD and frankly any child who appeared to have a challenge. She stood up for the kids in school being made fun of, or those with few to no friends. Little did she realize she was evolving advocacy and activism skills.
For the past 25 years she has been a mother to her greatest inspiration and hero, her son Andrew. Andrew has severe learning disabilities and including NLD, PDD-NOS,CAPD and EFD but in addition he suffers from the childhood onset of Bipolar Disorder, OCD, ADHD, multiple anxiety disorders and medical morbidities.
Currently, Marcie is the founder and co-chair of the Michigan Alliance for Special Education, a grassroots advocacy organization that has held two rallies on the steps of the Michigan Capitol. They successfully lobbied for an ESY rule in the Michigan Special Education Administrative Rules; along with maintaining “severe discrepancy” and “2 short term objectives” during the last significant rule promulgation period in August 2008. Her efforts have been instrumental in forcing Michigan to raise the standards required for secondary special education teachers. In 2010 Marcie was instrumental in stopping the Michigan Department of Education from adding a “Cross-Categorical Teacher” to the State’s Special Education Rules.
In 2013 Marcie took on the first all Charter School District in MI and filed systemic complaints on behalf of every child. Her written complaints resulted in the MDE’s findings of substantive noncompliance on behalf of 167 children. Marcie continues to use the written complaint process and U.S. Dept. of Education,Office of Civil Rights to hold school districts accountable.
Marcie also proudly sits on the Massachusetts General Hospital Pediatric Psychopharmacology Advisory Council, and Ariel’s Legacy for Bipolar Advocacy & Research and lobbies tirelessly for mental health parity.
In July 2011, Marcie attended the first William & Mary Law School, Institute for Special Education Advocacy; and in October 2013 became one of the first to graduate from the inaugural Council of Parent Attorney and Advocates (“COPAA”), Special Education Advocacy Training (“SEAT”) program, and is nationally recognized as an advocate with advanced training.
Marcie is invited to speak regularly to parent and clinician groups; along with county CHADD meetings; the Michael Golds ADHD Conference, Grand Round presentations at Detroit Children’s Hospital and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital; and guest lectured at the Detroit Mercy Law School.