The Role of the Consultant
The consultant’s role in working with a family involves three major components:
- First, the consultant provides a thorough and comprehensive evaluation of the student’s academic and social/emotional status.
- Second, the consultant works with each family to assist them in developing a full understanding of their child’s needs and in planning effectively to meet those needs on a long-term basis.
- Third, the consultant makes specific recommendations for placement that will provide the student with the opportunity to fully realize his/her potential and to address current needs.
Placement recommendations are based upon our personal experience with programs. It is our goal to only recommend schools and programs that we have personally visited. We spend more than 25% of our time visiting and evaluating programs, both in the United States and abroad. Our personal experiences with the programs allows us to bring valuable insight to the decision making process.
As independent consultants, we do not accept fees from any school or program for the referral or placement of a student. The student’s welfare is our primary concern.
The Evaluative & Assessment Process
Our process for evaluating a student’s need and assessing their requirements for a suitable list of program options involves targeted research and exploration. We begin by meeting with the parents/guardian to get a full history of the student and the circumstances that brought them to this process. We then conduct a one-on-one interview with the student (if possible) to get to know him/her.
Once we have completed the interviews, we review all available psychological and educational testing records and school transcripts. We also consult with other professionals that can give us their professional insight into the student’s situation. This would include school counselors, family therapists, psychologists, and possibly teachers.
This process enables us to put the pieces of the puzzle together to get a clear picture of the student’s needs and, thereby, make suitable recommendations.
The Recommendation & Placement Process
The process of recommending placement for a student is both complicated and strategic. With a thorough assessment of the student’s social, emotional, psychological and academic needs, we prioritize a list of schools that possess key attributes and characteristics needed for the student to find success. We then narrow the field to a list of appropriate options for placement and meet with the family to discuss the recommended programs.
We provide ongoing support to the family throughout the evaluation and exploration process to help them select the ideal program, although the final decision of enrollment is always up to the student and the family. We then assist in the admissions process and support the family through the transition.
Once enrolled in a school or program, we provide ongoing support to the family and the student to ensure that goals for success are being achieved. Furthermore, by continually monitoring the student’s progress through the program, we are aware of changes and developments that could impact future placement recommendations for the student.