I attend school meetings with parents and negotiate directly with the school team on the child’s behalf.
Behind-the-scenes coaching so parents are informed, effective and active members of their child’s team.
To assess a child’s program, service delivery and placement, I offer school observations.
Parents are the child’s best advocate but if you’re at loggerheads with the school about services, placement, discipline issues, medical needs, or a variety of other issues on which the school and parents may disagree, you might want a professional advocate to move things beyond an impasse. I can accompany you to school meetings, help you exercise your rights, and negotiate on your child’s behalf so the school meets your child’s needs. I err on the side of believing that special educators are in this business because they want to help children. But some situations are complex, some children’s learning needs are complex, some kids fall between the cracks, and for one reason or another a child may not be making progress and no one’s fixing the problem. Despite a desire to help kids, schools sometimes need a nudge to focus in and do what’s needed for a particular child. I provide that nudge. I go into meetings prepared to make a strong case for what needs to be done, and why. I go in believing the best of the school team, while being prepared to deal with the worst. Whether its for IEPs, 504s, or kids not receiving services, it’s an approach that’s served my clients well and gets the job done.
If what you want is behind-the-scenes help, I’m happy to provide it.
– If your child has been recently evaluated, either by the school or by an independent evaluator, and you’d like help understanding the evaluation reports so you can better advocate for your child’s needs
– If you have an IEP meeting coming up and you’d like help preparing for it so you can go in with a plan
– If the school has sent you an IEP and Placement page to sign and you want help understanding it so you can figure out if it’s a strong IEP, and how to sign the IEP and Placement pages
– If the school is proposing a change of placement (different type of classroom), and you’re not sure about how to ensure your child’s best interests
– If your child is not making progress and you want a knowledgeable sounding board and adviser to get an understanding of your options
I can help you with those things, and more. I work with you to provide an understanding of reports, IEPs, Placements, the special education process, what you can and cannot ask for, and a primer on advocacy so you’re in better shape going forward as your child’s best advocate.
If you’re part of a group of parents whose children have similar challenges (e.g. LBLD, SLD, autism, ADHD, trauma, emotional, behavioral, twice-exceptional), a professional group wanting a primer on how best to serve clients who need school services, or a group wanting more information on a particular area of special education, you can contact me for a customized workshop tailored to your group’s needs. My workshops have an extensive Q &A period but don’t include document review for individual audience members.
As part of advocacy for a client I can do informal school observations to gain a better understanding of the child’s educational program. During observations I see how the child does in class, during transitions, with peers, and with teachers. I get details of teacher-student ratio, staff qualifications, peer grouping, appropriateness of the child’s schedule and services, and whether or not the program is a good fit for the child. I talk to staff and learn informative details from those who work directly with your child, and take notes on what’s working and what’s not. My observation, and the direct contact with the child’s program and school experience, helps to make the best possible case for what the child needs in terms of programming and placement. I’ve also found that school staff appreciate the chance to share their knowledge of a child, and it is a win-win all around. I gain insight into the child’s situation, which makes for good advocacy, and the observation help greatly in producing good negotiated outcomes.
I serve clients within a 50-mile radius of Boston. Payment plans and sliding-scale fees are available.
Call for a free consultation.
Seetha is professional, prompt, and a life saver. She helps you navigate the laws for IEP’s and other services, and assists you through the meetings with your child’s school so that they can have the proper support and what they rightfully deserve. She is fair and she also teaches you, as the parent, how to navigate and advocate for your child in the future. She is wonderful and highly recommended!Kimberly B., Holbrook MA, 2015