Success in the Classroom
School and ARD advocacy
Our School and ARD Advocacy services available from The Behavior Exchange ensure the school environment where your child spends much of their time is aligned with their goals and is helping them reach their full potential. Through a collaborative partnership between parents, the school and our staff, your child is able to learn skills quicker, reduce unwanted behavior faster, and increase academic and social success at school.
How does it work?
• Whether you’re going through the Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) process for the first time or the 10th time, The Behavior Exchange can provide you with as much or as little support as you need to ensure your child is getting the appropriate attention and education.
• As your advocate, we typically begin by collecting all relevant data and background information pertaining to your child’s situation at school. This includes recent evaluations by the school or any outside health or therapy provider, previous Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) developed for your child, goals the school has already proposed, etc.
• Once the necessary data has been collected, we use it to draft a plan for a new IEP for your child. We send it to you for input as well as to any therapists who have firsthand knowledge of your child’s needs and progress. The plan is then modified to reflect everyone’s feedback.
• Next, we work on setting goals for your child. This is a collaborative process as well. Sometimes we write new goals and sometimes we modify goals that have already been set by therapists or the school in order to increase the challenge level or make a goal measurable.
• We ask you to review the plan once more to ensure it’s accurate and reflects your child’s needs, before it’s presented at the ARD meeting with the school. We also help prepare you for the meeting and let you know what to expect.
• During the ARD meeting, we’re there with you as support and to act on your behalf. Typically, we take the lead in presenting the plan that we’ve created and negotiate with the committee until a consensus is reached.
• Once you sign off on the negotiated IEP, we can step in again at your request if the school is not implementing the IEP properly, or there’s an issue with the progress your child is making. You always have the right to speak up and question a school’s approach to the education of your child.
Is it right for my child?
• Trust your gut. If you think a school should provide more appropriate services for your child, an ARD advocate can help you evaluate the situation and provide support and leadership to improve outcomes.
• We advocate for parents and their children at all grade levels, starting as young as three years old.
What can I expect?
• We understand very well how difficult and intimidating the ARD process can be for parents. We’ve been an advocate in more than 1,000 ARDs!
• As your advocate, we use our experience and skill to ensure your child’s IEP provides the best possible opportunity for your child to be successful in school.
• You know your child better than anyone. So we rely on your invaluable input and collaboration throughout the entire process.
• During the ARD meeting, our goal is to be collaborative but firm with the school when negotiating on your behalf. As a parent, you are an equal partner with the school in the ARD process, and you have more power than you know.
• Preparing for a typical ARD meeting takes us approximately 6-8 hours in total. ARD meetings usually last 3-5 hours, but they can go as long as 10.
• ADR Advocacy is a private pay service billed by the hour. Unfortunately, insurance does not cover this service at this time.