Pacific Coast Advocates – Frequently Asked Questions
• 1. Do you offer a free consultation?
Yes, we offer a 30 minute free consultation to help us mutually determine if we want to go forward with your case. Please fax a copy of the most recently signed IEP prior to your consultation. Email Info@PacificCoastAdvocates.com to arrange an appointment.
• 2. Why do you provide 2 advocates?
An IEP team is formed by including different professionals who specialize in one area of expertise because not one person can be an expert in everything. The school provides an administrator, a special education teacher, a general education teacher, a school psychologist (when assessments are being presented), and other specialists (such as a speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist etc.) as appropriate. Each professional is to bring his/her background, education and knowledge to the table to help the team best meet the child’s needs. PCA’s philosophy is the same as the idea of an IEP team…we offer 2 professionals with different areas of strength, knowledge and background along with the parent to provide even more expertise, knowledge, and balance to the table in order to help facilitate a child-centered solution. At PCA we give our clients the choice of working in a co-advocacy model with 2 advocates supporting them or choosing a single advocacy approach. The choice is yours!
• 3. Do you require a retainer?
No, your costs are limited to the time consumed in serving your needs and billed after each event, a pay as you go system.
• 4. What if I want to be my child’s advocate at the IEP meeting but want you to give me pre- and/or post-meeting advice?
We offer individualized parent coaching and will gladly advise you before and after any decision point you may have. This is an economical way to start advocating for your child’s needs.
• 5. Will I risk retaliation for my child if I bring advocates to the IEP meeting?
No, not with PCA! Our partners work collaboratively with you and the district to negotiate and resolve your differences. We acknowledge that you have to work with the school and teachers after the IEP meeting is complete and facilitate building bridges for the future.
• 6. My child only has a couple years in special education left before graduation. I’m worried about being ready for the world after school. How can you help me?
We are aware and trained to assist your team in creating an effective plan for life after school, referred to as the transition plan. It is essential that your child’s education include goals and support for a time when your child leaves school.
• 7. I’m very disappointed in my child’s IEP goals. How can you help?
Careful analysis of your child’s current functioning is essential as a baseline for setting goals. IEP goals are the heart of the document. We are trained in creating effective individualized goals, whether academic, functional or behavioral. If you are disappointed in the school’s projected or current goals, we can facilitate more appropriate goals.
• 8. How do I understand whether or not my child is making enough progress in special education?
Your child’s special education case carrier must report progress on goals as least as often and at the same time as progress reports are offered to all parents. The more observable and measurable your child’s goals are, the clearer the progress will be. We can help the team form goals that will clarify progress reports. In addition, initial, annual and triennial meetings are where goals are determined. That is a critical time to formulate goals that specify progress. We can facilitate appropriate goal determination and interpretation of progress. In addition, lags in predicted progress may signal a need for goal revision that you do not want to ignore.
• 9. I saw a lot of numbers on the assessment report, but that doesn’t help me understand the results. Can you help me?
Yes, we are experienced in interpreting and analyzing assessment results and can translate them into meaningful terms for you. In addition, we will be able to make recommendations from these results.
• 10. According to the IEP team, behavior is a significant problem for my child. What should the school be doing about that?
The district has a responsibility to provide training for socially acceptable replacement behaviors of students with special needs who have school behavior difficulties. This may be in the form of goals on your child’s IEP. Increased frequency or intensity of behavior problems may require further measures such as a behavior support plan, for example. We are experienced in assisting you and the district in planning for goals, support plans and other needs for school behavior concerns.