Frequently Asked Questions
DO I NEED AN EDUCATIONAL ADVOCATE?
You may benefit from our services if your child is experiencing any of the following difficulties:
• Problems with School Placement
• Inadequate Teacher Communication
• Insufficient Support/Services
• Social/Peer Problems at Home or School
• Conflict with School or Parents Over Homework
• Poor Report Cards
• Performing Below Ability
• Dislikes/Bored with School
WHAT DOES AN EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT/ADVOCATE DO?
The Educational/Consultant Advocate provides services by utilizing testing, record review, classroom observation, and educational consultation to determine your child's needs. After interviewing you and screening your child, we then work cooperatively with school district staff and outside agencies to obtain the services your child requires in order to obtain FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education).
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD'S SPECIAL NEEDS HAVE BEEN FULLY DIAGNOSED?
In instances where school-based assessment data is incomplete or inaccurate, we also screen and can evaluate whether additonal testing should be done. Observations at the school site or in the home can help us gather more data to determine whether we have a full picture of your child. If data is lacking, we have a wide variety of assessors and clinicians that we work with and will refer you to for specific outside assessment. Under certain conditions these assessments can be done at no cost to you. We work with the school and outside agencies to request that they provide additional assessments for your child. Then we work with the school and other team members to analyze the data and decide upon an educational/intervention treatment program.
WHAT IS AN IEP OR 504 PLAN?
An IEP (Individual Educational Program) is a document based on the individual needs of a child with disabilities who is identified through the assessment and qualification process for Special Education. It is a written document between you and your child's school detailing how your child will be educated. An IEP contains three parts: Present Levels of Performance, Goals, and Services. All three parts of the IEP must be written correctly in order for your child to have a comprehensive and effective educational program. A 504 plan addresses accommodations/modifications for your child to have "equal access" to school-based services.
WHAT DOES AN EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT DO AT AN IEP OR 504 PLAN MEETING?
The Consultant/Advocate attends your child's IEP or 504 plan meeting with you to ensure that the school team supports your child's needs according to the waythat is necessary for success. Your Consultant will facilitate discussing issues of concern with the school or agency staff plus all pertinent educational information. Finally, they work with the school team to ensure that your child is placed in an appropriate educational setting with necessary supports and services to benefit from the educational program and they monitor that placement. The major goal of the participation of the Educational Consultant is to enhance cooperation and communication among all team members and to educate and empower you as parents.
MY CHILD HAS AN IEP OR 504 PLAN, BUT IT IS NOT BEING IMPLEMENTED. CAN YOU HELP?
If there is a compliance problem with any facet of your child's Special Education IEP or 504 Plan, we will deal with it effectively and immediately. We first analyze what the deficits are in the compliance situation by reviewing records, observing in the classroom and speaking to staff. We then attempt to work cooperatively with appropiate school personnel to resolve the problems. If the district is not responsive to our requests, we will follow through to file a complaint with the district or, ultimately, with the State Department of Education. One goal of this process is to promote more respectful cooperation and communication with school staff and to educate and empower you as parents.
HOW CAN I RETAIN YOUR SERVICES?
We will schedule either a CONSULT APPOINTMENT for parents only, which is approximately 1 hour, or schedule an INTAKE APPOINTMENT for you and your child, which would last more than 2 hours and probably be scheduled over more than one day. You should bring with you copies of all your child's school and medical records. We will review the records and discuss your child's current issues with you. For an INTAKE APPOINTMENT we will do some individual screening/interviewing with your child. We will then formulate an action plan (strategy planning) as we collaborate to decide what needs to be done for your child to receive approriate educational services and support.
AMERICAN SPEECH-LANGUAGE-HEARING ASSOCIATION (ASHA)
AUTISM SOCIETY OF AMERICA
AUTISM SPECTRUM CONSULTANTS (ASC)
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS (CASP)
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
CHILDREN AND ADULTS WITH ADHD
CLUB XCITE FOR KIDS AND XCITE STEPS
COUNCIL OF PARENT ADVOCATES AND ATTORNEYS (COPAA)
DISABILITY RIGHTS OF CALIFORNIA
FEDERAL EDUCATION CODE OF REGULATIONS
INTERNATIONAL DYSLEXIA ASSOCIATION
iNDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANTS ASSOCIATION (IECA)
LEARNING DISABILITIES AND ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE EDUCATION OF YOUNG CHILDREN
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THERAPEUTIC SCHOOLS AND PROGRAMS (NATSAP)
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MENTAL ILLNESS
RADYS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL AUTISM DISCOVERY INSTITUTE
UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY