Whether you’ve just entered the world of special education or are a long-time veteran, embracing support is critical when it comes to navigating the system. Knowing the difference between a Special Education Consultant that has you and your child’s best interests in mind can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider the following strategies for choosing the right Special Education support.
Tip #1: Consider What Type of Support You Need
Take some time to really think about the support you and your child need when it comes to navigating the system. Some families want emotional support during the IEP meeting, while others need assistance reviewing documents for accuracy. Whatever your specific situation requires, make sure you pick a professional that will be there when you need them.
Tip #2: Research Your Consultant
When you go to pick a Special Education Consultant, it’s a good idea to consider the following:
- Ask for recommendations from others in the Special Education arena. This could include other special needs parents, educators or even your social media community. While a recommendation doesn’t necessarily mean the consultant is the right fit for your situation – it does give you a starting point.
- Check out their website and social media platforms to get a good idea of their practice. If there’s anything at all that makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s time to take a step back and look for another consultant.
Tip #3: Schedule Your Free Consultation
Consultants should offer a free consultation to determine if they are a good fit. If they are asking for payment before the consultation, you may want to look elsewhere.
At the time of the consultation, you’ll want to:
- Make sure you have a list of questions that you are ready to ask. (Download this FREE resource with my favorite questions!)
- Take to the consultant at length. Make sure they adhere to your philosophies and that you feel comfortable exchanging sensitive information with them.
- Be wary of “absolute claims” or promises that they will get you a certain service or a certain amount of money. There are no absolutes in special education and no one should make those guarantees.
- Ask them which records they will require from you. If they don’t want to review any records or get background history – it’s time to keep looking.
Tip #4: Discuss Payment Upfront
Make sure you talk about fees and payment expectations before you start working with a consultant. Some consultants will ask for payment upfront, so make sure the payment plan is something you are able to commit to and are comfortable with.
Tip #5: Trust Your Gut
Last and finally, you need to trust your gut. If you feel comfortable with the Special Education Consultant, you will make a good team and be successful in working through the system. If you feel something is off, you’ll constantly wonder if you made the right choice and may regret it down the line. As with anything, keep in mind that you are the parent – and you really do know best when it comes to your child – including which professionals you will engage to help them succeed.
Special Education Support with Brandie Rosen Consulting
If you are looking for a Special Education Consultant, I’d love the opportunity to chat with you. Schedule your FREE consultation today and let’s work together to get your child the best education possible!