We didn’t know we needed an educational consultant until we met Ellen. Now, we don’t know what we would have done without her. Ellen not only helped us determine the right course of action for our son, but she directed us to the right program and the right people within the program that fit best with our son’s needs and issues. Even though our formal arrangement ended with Ellen at least a year ago, she continues to check in with us to find out how things are going. The school and program professionals we have dealt with over the years all confirm that Ellen is unique—she is highly respected as a professional who goes above and beyond to assure that she gets the best for “her kids.”
Becki and Rich, Philadelphia, PA
“Every once in a long while there comes an advisor for students with learning and behavioral issues who clearly understands the child’s needs and is so practical that special mention is needed. Many advisors in the field simply lack the practical knowledge, as opposed to off the shelf experience. Ellen Heard assisted my son who was struggling with learning disabilities to acceptance to a fine college. She (Ellen) is tireless in her efforts; she cares as much as the child’s parents do; and she is not willing to accept anything less than the effective result. I would without reservation give her my highest recommendation.”
Clint V., Washington, DC
Ellen is simply one of the best investments you can make in your child’s health and welfare. We went to her when we had tried many paths and were getting nowhere with our son. He was on a very dangerous downhill slide. Ellen pointed us to the right choices and helped every step of the way. Not only does she know the programs that really work, but she knows who at these programs would be the best fit for your child. You may think that you can do the research and make these choices yourself, but they would never be as good as hers. She has a sixth sense for who will really make a difference.
Ellen also played the dual role of supporting us through hard times yet keeping us aware of the brutal facts. Our son has made tremendous strides in the past eight months. I truly do not think we would be in this place without Ellen. Words cannot even express how thankful we are to her. If you have the opportunity to work with Ellen, take it. I promise your lives will change for the better.
Donna O. and Richard M., Bethesda, MD
“Thank goodness Ellen Heard came into my life! I knew my daughter was falling deeper and deeper into “bad stuff”. My denial wouldn’t allow me to face it, then that “something” happened where I had no choice but to deal with it. But how?? I got Ellen’s name from a friend, and from our initial conversation, I knew that things were going to change. She was incredibly knowledgeable and most importantly totally empathetic. She is unbelievably perceptive with adolescents – what they’re about and what they need. She knows hundreds of programs and she takes great pains to make sure that the program she recommends is the best ‘match’. She has always been available to talk about my daughter’s progress, even a year later. I believe the program she found for my daughter saved her life. I know it saved mine.”
Harriet B., Potomac, MD
Ellen uses techniques which we believe are available from few educational consultants. After a child is placed, Ellen maintains contact with both the parents and the organization where the child is located. She follows up all concerns about the organization the parents may have until the matter is resolved. She uses her experience with each placement as a basis for future recommendations. Of course, there is no guarantee of success, but we are happy to report that our son is now maturing rapidly and is in his sophomore year in college, things we dared not hope for when our primary concern was for his survival. Thanks, Ellen!
Susan and Don W., Arlington, VA
For years my husband and I watched our daughter struggle to be content. She suffered from low self esteem, depression and substance abuse. We enlisted the help of counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and drug rehabilitation to try and improve her self image and put her on the most successful path in life as we could. Not only did that not happen, it was apparent she was progressing down a very dangerous path of self destruction. It was both terrifying and heart-wrenching to watch as a parent. The situation felt hopeless. Nothing we did was working. Then a friend referred me to Ellen Heard. She introduced me to a world of alternative treatment programs I never knew existed. From the moment I spoke with her on the phone I knew she could help. Her honest, objective style is just what a parent needs at this point. Her in depth knowledge of treatment programs throughout the country, coupled with her own personal experience dealing with a troubled teen, give her the kind of credibility that is rare in this field. Ellen was a true partner in every sense of the word. I don’t know what we would have done without her or where my daughter would be today. Ellen gave us hope and my daughter a fighting chance.
Candice T., Chicago, IL
“She was the voice of sanity and our courage and hope during the chaos of our daughter’s crises. She was highly professional and brutally honest. Her personal experience with her own challenging teen that she relevantly shared made her even more credible. We are eternally grateful that she came into our life.”
Roz B., Potomac, MD
Ellen Heard was the beacon in our life that guided us through our darkest and scariest days with our daughter. This wonderful and compassionate professional gave us hope amidst our despair, sparked inspiration and confidence when we were “lost,” and provided a clear roadmap to help us make sound decisions. She took time to understand our family’s issues and needs. Then, based on her personal and professional knowledge, she was able to recommend the best placements for our daughter. Ellen Heard is head and shoulders above most other educational consultants because “one size fits all” is absent from her lexicon. We concur with professionals and parents alike who admire Ellen’s thorough process and keen ability of matching the needs of the child and family with the most appropriate therapist and best program for that child. Her care and compassion go well beyond placement.
So impressed by her professionalism and passion, we have recommended Ellen to family, friends and acquaintances, all of whom agree with our admiration and gratitude for her superior knowledge, skills, and personal attention.. The bottom line is that Ellen Heard is “simply the best.”
Walt and Ellen S., Annandale, VA
Of all the professionals that I have worked with regarding my son, Ellen was really the only one who offered an immediate solution to our issues. She acted promptly, sent out my son’s paperwork to prospective schools and within a matter of hours, I was on the phone with admissions directors.
I can wholeheartedly recommend Ellen and her services; she makes difficult paths a lot easier to navigate.
Caroline H., Bethesda, MD
I highly recommend Ellen Heard.
Almost 2 years ago, my husband and I were faced with trying to figure out what to do with our son who refused to go back to the 11th grade and was having great difficulty dealing with and engaging positively in life. After several unsuccessful attempts and strategies to get him back into school and life, our psychiatrist suggested we contact educational consultant, Ellen Heard. Contacting Ellen was one of the best decisions we have ever made. We discovered that Ellen is a consummate professional dedicated to using her knowledge to help others navigate through the maze of options of alternative programs. She understood our fear as well as our son’s needs and made outstanding recommendations of highly qualified programs that would “fit” his needs and help him and our family. She made our painful and overwhelming situation easier. I highly recommend Ellen Heard’s educational services. She really cared about our family and our son’s needs. She is very knowledgeable, communicative, organized and follows up. There are no loose ends or guessing when working with Ellen; her guidance was so valuable and to this day we are grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and work with her. We still have our ups and down, but he is now engaged in life, graduated from high school and is a freshman in college. Ellen is simply the best and we can’t thank her enough.
Donna C., Alexandria, VA
Ellen immediately grasped the urgency of our situation and used a combination of humor, directness, knowledge and compassion to prompt us to immediate action. What’s most impressive is that she relied on her extensive network of personal contacts throughout the therapeutic community. She was a strong counselor and a patient listener. Ellen quite literally saved our son and our family, for which we will be forever grateful. I give Ellen my highest recommendation. Don’t hesitate: if you put your child and your family in Ellen’s capable hands, she will come through for you.
Michael D., Chevy Chase, MD
Ellen’s direct approach was the, “Calm in the storm,” of raging emotions as the parent of challenging child. Ellen will tell you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear. Her confidence, borne out of her personal experiences and years of supporting young people and their families, helped us make solid decisions about the care plan for our son.
Fieldwork, visits and relationships with various programs allowed Ellen to cut through the marketing noise and hype to present our family with a viable first step with a wilderness program for our son.
Ellen stayed connected to us throughout the wilderness process working with the family and therapist, securing psychological testing and identifying potential next steps. We believe that this connectedness allowed us to spend quality time interviewing and visiting potential programs in a cost and time efficient way. Other families with different ed consultants spend weeks flying around the country and on telephone interviews whereas we believe that Ellen gave us a high quality short list.
We are grateful for Ellen’s support, willingness to listen and guide us with conviction. Her confidence put us on a path to success and we highly recommend that if you are serious about re-setting the path your child is on that you connect with Ellen Heard.
Jim and Kim B., Fallston, MD
For the prior 9 years, we relied on traditional mental health providers to help our son beat his depression, anti-social behavior and subsequent addiction, without success. At the age of 19 he had completed just one tumultuous semester. We felt like we were out of options to find our son the effective treatment he desperately needed. We feared for his life.
A social worker provided us with information about Educational Consultants, including a list with your name. Oddly, none of the numerous mental health “professionals” we dealt with over the years had ever mentioned this option. Feeling like we had nothing to lose, we decided to give you a call.
That call changed everything. After that first call to you, we felt that finally someone actually understood our plight. The fact that you have “walked the walk” and subsequently decide to share your experience with other floundering parents was inspiring.
Throughout this process, you have unfailingly been our champion to program directors when we had questions or concerns about how things were proceeding. It is without exaggeration that we can say your stewardship of our son’s recovery saved his life. And although this course required a significant financial outlay, it’s hard to grip when you get something in return that is truly priceless-our son reintegrated into our family who is solidly on the path of becoming a healthy, happy and productive member of society.
Ruth and Michael D., Highland, MD
“I was at one of my lowest points in my life and a friend introduced me to Ellen Heard. She was both efficient and sympathetic. She said that my nephew needed to be tested for psychological and academic issues and gave me several reputable groups to call. I believe having her emotional support and professional familiarity with the schools made it possible for me to take this next step. She sat in on the review by the psychologist, who tested my nephew. By that evening, Ellen had contacted a treatment center with an accredited college prep program on the premises, faxed them my nephew’s records and had the director call me. Ellen knew the director and the three of us were able to brainstorm together. She encouraged me to be open and honest and not be afraid, even put me in touch with a transport service. My nephew has been at his program for a month now and whenever I talk to him, he sounds happy and grounded. I wish I’d known Ellen Heard a year and a half ago.”
Julia M., Chevy Chase, MD