I take an individualized, hands-on approach to each family. Finding the right fit at the right program is just the beginning of this process. Since I have been in a similar situation with my own child, I am particularly sensitive to issues that arise for families during a child’s placement.
Initial General Consultation
- Face to face or by phone in depth interviews with parents.
- Social history of the student from birth to present.
- Discussion of current placement needs.
- Explanation of overall therapeutic options including price range and length of stay.
- Discussion about realistic range of student’s options, without naming specific facilities.
Specific Consultation and Placement
- Interview with student if deemed appropriate.
- Interview with student if 18+ years old.
- Review of all academic/psychosocial/educational testing and records, including reports of any legal difficulties, prior to initial meeting.
- Consultations with other professionals who have previously worked with student, including mental health professionals, teachers, guidance counselors and previous testers, when available.
- Recommendations for additional testing, school advocates, special needs lawyers and/or transport services when needed.
- Communication with admission counselors at specific placement options including faxing psychological evaluation and/or other testing, as well as presenting profile of student and family needs.
- Selection of appropriate facilities, both short term and long term and counseling the parents on guidelines to evaluate schools, programs or facilities.
- Program selection often includes a two pronged approach, by first selecting a short term, high impact assessment placement used as a diagnostic tool, followed by a longer term follow-up facility to internalize change of identified issues.
- Actively tracking student’s progress on weekly conference calls with the therapist and the family, throughout the duration of the short term assessment placement, as well as being available for any questions/concerns from parents during this time frame.
- On going coaching.
- Transitioning student into the follow-up program.
During Follow-up Placement
- Tracking student once placed in the longer term facility.
- Optional visit with student coupled with meeting treatment team.
- Understanding that this placement is more than simply identifying a program’s name.
- Case managing the placement, including support for parents in addressing the complexities and anxieties often associated with a placement
“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.”
Becki and Rich, Philadelphia, PA