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Conversations with the Inspiring Crystal Y. Sanford, M.Ed., M.A. CCC-SLP

Today we’d like to introduce you to Crystal Y. Sanford, M.Ed., M.A. CCC-SLP.

Crystal, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have had the pleasure of serving special needs families for the past 20 years in the field of speech therapy. My work has primarily been in the public school setting with children of diverse needs. In 2014, my own daughter (then 3 years old) was diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism. My journey then shifted from clinician alone becoming a special needs parents myself. With my daughter as my inspiration, I opened Sanford Autism Consulting in 2016. My goal was to create a space for parents to receive connection to services, education, and HOPE for their Autism journey!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I have continued to work part-time for a school district while running my business part-time and being a mom. This has been challenging. I have had to learn how to automate as much as possible (e.g. social media, email contacts, etc.), so that I can spend the most time being in front of the people I love and support.

For other mom-preneurs or women considering opening a business, I would encourage you to focus on your passion. Don’t take on opportunities just because they are available. Try to focus on what really makes your heart sing and where you can make the most impact.

what should we know about Sanford Autism Consulting? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I offer a variety of services to special needs families, including: IEP advocacy, parent education, community workshops, social skills groups for kids ages 4-18 and communication screenings/assessments.

One of my most popular classes is ADHD & Autism: Exploring Invisible Disabilities. I co-teach this class with my colleague Dr. Cindi Britton. It is a powerful introductory class for parents who are new or are considering one of these diagnoses for their child.

I am most proud of my work as a coach for parents who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) with school districts. I am able to help parents finally make sense of this plan for their child and access unknown benefits and resources.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
I believe that many women are not used to “selling” their value or services. We tend to be helpers by nature. But, people typically do business with those they know, like and/or trust. So, it’s important for women to confidently and authentically share their expertise.


  • Parent Education Classes start at $20/90-minute classes
  • IEP Advocacy starts at $99/hour

Contact Info:

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Sanford Autism Consulting

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