About Us

Who We Are 

MISSION: To maximize inclusive opportunities for individuals with disabilities worldwide. We believe that through knowledge, creativity, and a conscious decision to create inclusive environments, we can help others become accepting and welcoming of individual differences.

VISION: To effect change globally, we believe we need to focus our efforts in a variety of domains. Our multi-dimensional approach includes individuals and families,  community organizations such as churches, locations that provide early intervention such as daycares, and corporations that aspire to include others. As we increase knowledge and understanding in each domain, we envision a ripple effect that will inspire others to learn more and become more inclusive as well. 

Seeds of Hope Consulting, LLC was founded in 2023 by Danielle McManus and Tarsha Ashford. Together they have a combined 31 years of professional experience serving pre-K - elementary school-aged children that demonstrate at least a 25% delay in one or more developmental domains. There is a shared experience in the development of individualized education programs (IEPs), facilitating IEP meetings, implementing goals and objectives in a classroom setting, collecting data, providing accommodations and modifications, assessing students' progress through proper documentation and use of testing tools, communicating with families, conducting developmental evaluations, and supervising instructional assistants. Additional qualifications consist of providing services to clients and their families in their home setting or in the community, development of service plans, usage of a variety of AAC devices, and promotion of behavioral, functional, communication, and social improvement. Lastly, they are experts in the implementation of educational and behavioral programming in private settings with children impacted by an autism spectrum disorder, encouraging group participation in activities, and supporting incidental and naturalistic teaching. 

Danielle is also a parent of two boys on the autism spectrum who are now 11 and 7 years old. Danielle knows first hand what its like to hear that your child has been diagnosed with a disability. She has walked through a similar journey to the families she serves. She understands the experiences and challenges parents face as they navigate all of the information available online, determine what services would benefit their child, and the search to find environments that are accepting of all. Seeds of Hope Consulting was built with a desire to come alongside families and support them in their journey and empower others to be more inclusive as a whole.

Tarsha is the parent of 11-year old Dallas. Although he does not receive special education services, she too is familiar with hearing that her child was not meeting developmental milestones. So many times, Tarsha participated on IEP teams, delivering news to families about the diagnosis of an educational disability, when in 2017, found herself on the other side of the table, receiving news concerning a possible speech delay with her son. She understands the anxious thoughts of having to be available for evaluations and observing your child respond to complete strangers for such a short period of time. Then having those same strangers, make conclusions about your child, and determine the next steps in your journey. These processes can be confusing, frustrating, and scary due to uncertainty of what comes next. Seeds of Hope Consulting wants to calm those fears. We are here to provide guidance and assistance. 

Danielle McManus, M.S

Danielle McManus, M.S, is affectionately known as "Mrs. Mac." She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She then went on to pursue a Masters of Science in Early Childhood Unified Education from the University of Kansas. Danielle worked closely with families and children with disabilities during her time in Kansas and went on to work as an inclusion specialist at a local Montessori school. Upon completion of her degree she was asked to give the commencement address for the school of education. After that, Danielle went on to teach early childhood special education for the public school system. She began her work in a collaborative federal preschool program in Prince William County, but went on to teach  self-contained early childhood special education classes for 13 years in Henrico County.  During these years, she also became a registered behavioral technician, provided in home ABA services for individual children, supported adults with disabilities that lived in residential facilities with community integration, supported school-age children with disabilities with inclusion into regular community based programs such as YMCA summer camps, assisted with the creation of a vacation bible school for children prek – 3rd grade with special needs, and taught numerous trainings for individual families, school teachers and local churches on topics of disability sensitivity, using communication devices, trauma informed practices, and inclusion. Danielle most recently, went back to the University of Kansas to obtain a Masters certificate in Educational Leadership. She is now the lead early childhood special education teacher for Henrico County Public Schools. Danielle McManus and her husband, Cory Sykes, have two sons who have autism spectrum disorder. Danielle loves to travel, try new foods, and advocate for all. 

Tarsha Ashford, M.S

Tarsha Ashford, M.Ed is starting her 19th year as a special education teacher for elementary-aged students in Henrico, Virginia. A native of Mathews, Virginia, she attended Virginia Commonwealth University and received her Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems in 2000. Although she was part of the business world, Tarsha took an interest in individuals with differing abilities while taking a sign language course at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. After leaving the corporate world due to downsizing, Tarsha sought employment through Henrico Mental Health Group Homes and The Faison School for Autism as an instructional assistant. In both settings, Tarsha was able to gain valuable experiences and knowledge in an area foreign to her. She then pursued a master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education at Virginia Commonwealth University and began her public school teaching career with Henrico County on a provisional license. Following completion of her master’s degree, Tarsha went on to obtain a post-baccalaureate certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders, and a master’s degree in Human Services with a concentration in business at Liberty University. Through her years in the education field, Tarsha has spent her summers teaching summer school or working as an evaluator on the summer evaluation team, which tests and determines children eligible for special education services through the school system. She also was employed as an autism in-home counselor for five years at St. Joseph’s Villa providing ABA services and promoting behavioral and functional skills, communication, and social improvement through individualized treatment, and working collaboratively with family members to encourage participation in treatment phases and components. Tarsha currently serves in a leadership role within her school as the lead special education teacher. Tarsha Ashford resides in Henrico with her husband, Robert Ashford, and her 11-year old, middle school son Dallas, who is her FAVORITE person! Tarsha enjoys spending time with her family, binge watching t.v. shows, and eating. Her hope is to add understanding to families regarding special education processes, to assist with navigation of services, and to provide enough knowledge to those working with individuals with differing abilities so that environments will be all-inclusive.