Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Education Advocate?
An Education Advocate consults with parents on their special education rights. They familiarize themselves with the student’s case, and then offer advice, education, and support to ensure their disability rights are followed.
Educational advocates are versed in special education laws, and help families navigate the special education system. They are skilled at accommodations, goals, and services to help the student learn and grow in their education.
An Educational Advocate is not an attorney, and does not offer legal advice.
As my Educational Advocacy, what will you do?
- Navigate the 504/IEP process and be available for guidance and questions
- Attend and offer support during 504/IEP/ADA meetings
- Ensure proper evaluations are given and review evaluation reports to understand your child’s unique needs
- Prepare for your special education meeting by proposing accommodations, goals, and services
- Draft correspondence and complaints to school and district personnel
- Review student files and records for annual 504/IEP meetings
- Advise on behavioral interventions and modifications in the educational setting
- Educate & Empower parents and students to build advocacy skills
- Assist your family with recommendations for additional services
How will this affect my relationship with my child’s school?
My goal is to strengthen the relationship at his/her school by respectfully assisting and contributing as a member of your student’s team. I will ensure that the focus remains on the student and how to best serve them. Each member of the team brings their area of expertise, and my approach is to ensure your student is best supported while maintaining a professional relationship with their school.
What is a record (504/IEP) review?
You can send me your child’s current 504 plan, IEP, or ADA Accommodations and I will review and offer suggestions. This can be done remotely by email, or in person.
What kind of parent and community training do you offer?
I partner with local service providers to offer free community education on exceptional children. I also offer customized trainings for educational institutions and parent groups, both online and in person.
Some common topics are: Special Education 101, The Transition from High School to College, College Accommodations, ADHD & Executive Functioning, and Behavioral Interventions.
What is life coaching and how can you help?
I have over a decade of coaching experience, specialized in personal growth and the development of skills. Life coaching can help students struggling with self-advocacy, Executive Functioning deficiencies such as planning & organizing, anxiety & self-esteem, or the transition to life after High School.
I have assisted many with career exploration, college planning, and with overcoming an obstacle in their personal life. I am able to see the talents people innately have, and help them use those talents towards their success.
There are many types of life coaching and consulting, and my approach is driven by goal exploration and goal setting. We will spend time together defining a chosen outcome, mapping out a path with written goals, and then working through the goals together.
It can also assist parents who are new to the world of disability, and need guidance on best practices to help their families through obstacles.
Where are the life coaching sessions held?
Individual sessions are held by teleconference, video conference, or in person based on the client’s choice and location.
How do you handle confidentiality?
I treat each consulting and coaching session with complete confidentially. Your sessions will never be discussed with a third party. I have training in this area and have practiced confidentiality in my past compliance work. The rare exception would be if concerned the student is a danger to themselves or to another individual, or if a court of law directly orders SMW Consulting & Advocacy, LLC to share such information to the court.
What methods of payment do you accept?
You can pay via cash, check, PayPal, or Venmo. You will be invoiced via email.
I do not accept insurance or work with state agencies for payment.