WHAT IS AN EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT?
Educational consultants are professionals who assist students and families with educational decision making,” according to the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) Directory. Educational consultants who are “independent” avoid entanglements, financial or otherwise, with schools or programs that might influence their recommendations to parents and children. Members of the IECA organization agree to follow “Principles of Good Practice,” which includes the statement: “A consultant does not accept any compensation from educational institutions for placement of a child.”
HOW CAN AN EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT HELP ME?
Most parents talk with friends who have also had problems with their children. Often, they search endlessly on the Internet trying to find schools and programs that can help their child. Ultimately, they realize that there are thousands of programs and they realize the enormity of the options and seek help sorting out all of the options. Consultants provide experience, knowledge and objectivity to help formulate a placement decision during a time that is confusing and stressful for any parent. Consultants visit many if not most of these schools and programs and have access to colleagues who are know first hand the programs and schools available. Since educational consultants have extensive personal knowledge of a wide variety of schools and programs, they know the important criteria and common mistakes to avoid when making recommendations for placement. Consultants utilize this knowledge and experience when helping parents to carefully develop a strategy to intervene with their struggling child.
IS IT WORTH THE COST?
Special Purpose schools and programs are very expensive. An educational consultant who is experienced and competent can increase the odds that the first choice of a school or program will be the right choice, helping to avoid additional failures for the child. Parents who work with qualified educational consultants thus reduce the possibility of losing time and money as a result of an inappropriate placement.
HOW DO I CHOOSE AN EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT?
Perhaps the most important consideration when selecting an educational consultant is the level of trust and comfort you feel with that person. Each year Woodbury Reports conducts a survey that includes a list of educational consultants who work with families seeking to place their child in a Special Needs school or program. One of the results of our analysis is a list of consultants who have good reputations according to special needs schools and programs and other consultants. The IECA organization also indicates which consultants are qualified to work with Special Needs schools and programs. Selecting from either or both of these lists will insure that the educational consultant you choose will have proven a basic competence in this area.
From StrugglingTeens.com ; Woodbury Reports