Services We Provide
CASE MANAGEMENT/PARENT COACHING SERVICES
Navigating the educational system on your own can be confusing, overwhelming and exhausting. You want to understand what your child's teacher is telling you, but the jargon makes it difficult. You're relying on school personnel to coordinate with you and your outside providers, but it doesn't really happen in a reasonable time and the follow-through is inconsistent.
When you retain an Advocacy Associates Inc, Case Manager/Advocate, though, your worry about navigating the system is removed and that responsibility is taken off your shoulders. The Case Manager/Advocate assigned to your child can coordinate matters and concerns with school personnel and relevant private providers, such as psychologists and pediatricians.
Through Advocacy Associates Inc.'s Case Management/Advocacy Services, we can schedule school and other meetings at your request with all required parties and collaborate with agency and private practice personnel involved with your child. We can facilitate ongoing communication. We can request records on your behalf and help interpret assessment and other data contained in these records. We can attend meetings with you when requested. We are able to provide you with an in-depth explanation of your child's school records, 504 Plan or Individualized Education Program and other related documents. We can monitor your child's progress in school through communication with staff and with your private providers. In summary, our services can allow you to be the parent, not the service coordinator, and to focus on your child's social/emotional needs rather than time-consuming Case Management responsibilities.
QUOTE FROM CANDACE WHO USED PARENT COACHING SERVICES:
Advocates. The Random House Dictionary defines advocate "in part as someone who speaks, writes in favor of, supports, advises or urges by argument in support of another person." Since my daughter was in second grade we have had to do nothing but "fight" for her rights. When the school was not listening to us on her needs, we decided to hire an advocate on our attorney's advice. This was probably the best advice we had ever received. I just wish we had done this earlier. Trying to navigate the Special Ed maze is beyond difficult. Both my husband and I are strong, fighting people. My father died when I was 14, and my husband's mother when he was 15. My husband has battled cancer 5 times. We both have had our share of battles to overcome in our lives and we have been advocates for ourselves and each other. However, when it came to fighting for the rights for our daughter just to get through school without a lot of wasted time, it was clear we were in a losing battle. Why is that? Because we were in a school district that was under-funded, over burdened AND UNEDUCATED about the needs of our Chromosome Deletion 13 child. To make matters worse, we didn't know the law. Let me say that again. WE DIDNT KNOW THE LAW. Unless you have a Master's degree in the special needs field or are an attorney, I suspect you will not either. We hired one of the best advocates in our city to help us with that. What did we get? We got our voices heard! I have people telling me all the time "Why is your daughter doing so well?" It is because we have spent countless hours ensuring that GOALS are written correctly with the help of our advocate. That appropriate tests are done (or not done) correctly, whatever the case may be, with the help of our advocate. That PT, Speech, Assistive Technology and OT are followed through with consistently - with the help of our advocate. I can hear some of you saying "But I can't afford it?" I understand this. I do. however, how much are you going to be able to afford to spend once your child graduates and can't function in the normal world independently? Use your money now to ensure your child can be as close to independent as they can get all those years down the road. Don't ever say to yourself "I should have..." "I could have..."
All the best,
AUTISM CONSULTATION SERVICES
The needs of students on the Autism Spectrum are complex and varied. For students with any degree of Autism, some schools have a wider range of services available than they do for other handicapping conditions including special day classes, consultation with Non Public Agencies, and specialized therapies. Unfortunately, for students with milder forms of Autism and Asperger's Syndrome, there is often both a lack of understanding of their unique needs as well as gaps in the provision of appropriate services. At Advocacy Associates Inc, we are knowledgeable regarding these conditions and the programs best suited to support them. We provide specialized Autism Consultation Services to assist in the identification of needs/programs for students across the Autism Spectrum. This can include:
• Referrals to specialized assessors.
• Referrals to private agencies for ABA, Speech-Language, OT and other therapies for Autistic Spectrum children (ASD Disorder).
• Assistance with applying for services from Regional Center, IHSS, and SSI programs. We attend meetings and hearings with these agencies with you to help maintain regular services and do routine paperwork maintenance.
• A review of your child's previous evaluations to determine if appropriate assessment and identification has been completed.
• A review of your child's IEP/IPP to determine if appropriate services have been provided and if these services have been effective in promoting progress.
• Assistance in identifying and accessing services available in your community.
• Facilitating coordination between your private providers and school providers to maximize the effectiveness of therapies
• Attendance at IEP/IPP meetings to advocate for your child and help give you an effective voice in the proceedings.
• Participation in all aspects of implementation and monitoring of the IEP/IPP to ensure a FAPE is being provided.
• Consultation with school staff and outside providers to ensure understanding of your child’s unique needs.
Advocacy Associates, Inc. can help you identify and prioritize your child’s unique and special needs and will ensure you can access services available through private agencies, San Diego County, and the public schools.
SCHOOL PLACEMENT SERVICES
When your child is not achieving adequate success in school, we know how to quickly and efficiently intervene to assess what the problem is and either suggest some swift adjustments to the current program or work with you to find another, more suitable school option. We are highly familiar with local, California and Nationally accredited day and residential programs which are clinically and educationally staffed with the highest quality professionals. We have worked in the school placement field since 1979 and have visited and placed students for over 30 years. We have memberships in professional organizations such as The National Association of Therapeutic School and Programs (NATSAP) and The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) which have high standards for both their members and their organizational expectations. In addition, we are familar with the CAPSES schools in San Diego County and California and the standards required to maintain membership in this organization.
We work with you and your local school district, private funding sources and/or your medical insurance company to explore options for funding for these placements, if they cannot easily be covered by you financially. We often visit students while they are in placement, sometimes at our own expense, in order to help understand the progress of treatment and so we might be able to better participate in the IEP process.
Please remember : SCHOOL FAILURE IS RELATIVE, NOT ABSOLUTE. You do not need to see F's on a report card to know something is wrong at school. Please trust your instincts and consider getting a second opinionfrom us about how things are going in your child's life before it is "too late." It is almost impossible for a parent alone to make a lasting change in a child's experience in school.
Sometimes the School Find Consultant will not need to change placement at all. However, a realistic discussion of the problems a child is facing with the School Administration can often help staff understand why significant changes urgently need to be made. This can help ensure cooperation and make the measures taken potentially even more successful.
When your child’s life isn’t working at school or at home, Advocacy Associates Inc, specializes in the identification and placement of students in appropriate Residential/therapeutic programs.
This is done through the intake process of:
Parent interview; Screening of child; Record Review; and Consultation with Psychiatric and Psychological providers.
We then consult with you and recommend placement options.
BUT we don’t stop there! We work with you on funding of those options through a variety of sources.
As a member of NATSAP (National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs) and IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association) we have full access to documentation on high quality, vetted residential, therapeutic, wilderness, and boarding school options for students nationally. Our staff has visited, placed, and case managed students both nationally and internationally as they attended and successfully completed appropriate programs. The students who have been places through the School Find services of Advocacy Associates Inc, have had challenges including: computer addiction, sexual acting out, substance abuse, underachievement, mood disorders, gay/lesbian issues, bullying or other peer-relationship problems, parent/child problems, attempts at self-harm, eating disorders, severe social withdrawal, anxiety disorders, and identified neurological issues which needed further evaluation in order to be treated successfully. Most have returned from treatment with skills to cope with their challenges and disorders.
If you wish, we can facilitate the transport of your child to placement through nonconfrontive and professional means by organizations that are bonded and have much experience working with troubled youth. With Professional Transport your child will generally arrive calmer and more prepared for treatment with a positive frame of mind.
Let us guide you through the confusing network of evaluating what option your child needs next. We can help you make a useful and meaningful decision on the next steps for treatment.