I have some exciting news! I didn’t mention it back in the spring, but now I am….A Day in our Shoes is now open as a Special Education Advocacy and Disabilities Consulting service business! Cool, huh? Several months ago I made the decision to leave the non-profit that I was working for and go out on my own. I wanted to offer IEP Assistance for Parents in a different format and venue, so here I am…
Your IEP Concierge!
Some of the services that I offer to parents of children with special needs:
- helping you understand the IEP process-pinpoint your concerns, help you communicate them effectively to your team, explain the process, guide you and give you the tools to do it on your own
- help you manage your child’s IEP paperwork and files so that the process is easier for you year-to-year
- I can, but don’t have to, attend your IEP or other meetings with you
- help you find other options and services, such as helping parents navigate Medical Assistance, behavioral health, private pay options
- help you understand what it means to hire a special ed attorney, the due process process and put you in touch with attorneys if necessary
- services are for-fee, but initial consultation will be free so I can determine a recommended action plan for your family
- strictly limiting my client load so that I can give your family the attention you deserve
- offering several years’ experience as a Special Education Advocate, even getting my non-profit agency’s “Advocate of the Year” for 2012. I am a certified BCEA and am or have been on the Board of Directors for non-profits that serve children with disabilities.
- strengths based approach-I want your child to be celebrated for his/her differences, not just tolerated or accommodated. I have a child-focused approach where we will focus on your child’s strengths and interests and build from there.
Think of me as a concierge for special education and IEPs! I will help you with some things and tell you where you can get help with other things. I have an extensive network in our area and a vast knowledge of resources.
Edited, 9/10/14: Thanks for the overwhelming response. I am editing this today because many have asked the question:
What does it cost to hire a special education advocate or consultant?
Short answer, it varies. If you are a low-income household, and criteria for that varies as well, free assistance is available from some non-profit agencies such at PEAC and the Arc.
If you want to hire someone, the lowest rate that I know of is…….mine. Most practices are charging $60/hour and up, up to $200 an hour (for very complex and difficult cases).
I have based my rates on an hourly rate less than $60 per hour, and during your initial consultation (where I can get a feel for how complex your case will be) we will go over that. I know that families with special needs kids often have limited resources, so I have budgeted to charge less than other agencies, but I still have to earn income for my family too. A family should expect to spend $150-$500, depending on the complexity of your case.
For example, a basic $250 package would include: initial consultation, review of child’s records, help with communication to school regarding needs and requesting IEP meeting, attending IEP meeting and then follow up post-IEP meeting to make sure it gets written into IEP and IEP is being implemented. This is for a fairly cut & dry situation where the child’s needs are not being met and you need some guidance and support just getting back on track.
However, if you have already done all those steps and the district is refusing your requests and you’re already looking at probable mediation, it will probably be $500+ to prepare for mediation. But, if I look at everything and you need due process or the district refuses your mediation request (all this will be explained at initial consult!) and I’m basically going to pass you off to some attorneys right away….that’s much less time consuming for me, so it is around $100 or so.
If interested, you can click either of the concierge hyperlinks and contact me!