About Us

We specialize in working with families and children with special needs, and generally helping families heal conflicts and focus on their future.

Shannon Vajda is the owner of Pacific Coast Mediation and Pacific Coast Advocates.
Shannon is a mother of three teenagers. She has a passion for helping couples find the best
solutions for their particular needs as peaceful as possible. Being optimistic is an important
trait in helping couples see individual future goals instead of focusing on the past tribulations.
Shannon’s love for helping both birth and adoptive parents sit down and create a plan on how
they will communicate with each other post-adoption derives from her own experience of
having a supportive and nurturing relationship with her sons’ birth family. Her two sons were
adopted and her daughter is biological. Shannon has worked with children and families with
special needs since she received her teaching credential in the area of Special Education in
1992 in the state of New York. She has worked in the capacity of a special education teacher,
administrator, and special education advocate.

Experience/Education:

  • Syracuse University: B.S. Degree in Special Education, endorsement in mild/moderate and moderate/severe disabilities
  • Pepperdine University School of Law: Training in Systematic Approach to Mediation Strategies
  • National Conflict Resolution Center: Training in Art and Practice of Mediation, Introduction Course
  • National Conflict Resolution Center: Training in Advanced Mediation Skills
  • Mosten Mediation Training: Training in Divorce and Family Mediation
  • American Institute of Mediation: Mediation Skills Training
  • San Diego Small Claims Court: Mediator
  • University of San Diego: Certificate of Special Education Law and Advocacy

Presentations/Speaking events:

  • American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution 15th Annual Spring Conference in Chicago: Presented on facilitating Open Adoption Communication Plans.
    April 2013
  • The Adoption Experience event: Presented on facilitating Open Adoption Communication Plans and was a panel member to speak as an adoptive mother.
    November 2012
  • San Diego Hospice Center: Presented on Special Education rights and advocacy to care takers, social workers and support staff for children that are receiving hospice in last stages of life and are attending public schools.
    August 2012
  • The Muslim Community Services of San Diego: Presented on different types of school options in state of CA, Special Education process and Parental rights in regards to Special Education.
    June 2012
  • Chula Vista Asperger’s and HFA Parent Group: Presented on learning how mediation skills/techniques can help provide supportive sound solutions for parents of children with disabilities.
    April 2012
  • The Adoption Experience event: Presented on facilitating Open Adoption Communication Plans and also was on the panel speaking as an adoptive mother.
    November 2011
  • Utah Council of Conflict Resolution: “Get Creative and BE the Solution” The key to helping mediators find their calling is to find novel ways to apply their skills to their passions. Presented case studies to demonstrate how I use mediation skills in open adoption and special education work and explored how these skills apply in other niches.
    May 2011
  • The Ninth Annual ADR Academy: “The Changing Face of Mediation” Presented use of mediation skill set in the area of special education and adoption.
    October 2010

Professional Affiliations:

  • (SCMA) Southern California Mediation Association
  • Mediate.com
  • COPAA (Council of Parent , Attorneys and Advocates)

 

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