Consulting, Advocacy, & Assessments 

Parents and guardians of children with disabilities often struggle with knowing how best to advocate for their children. Parents want to ensure that their children receive appropriate services, and they want to feel meaningfully engaged in educational decisions. While many families feel like valued members of their children's IEP teams, others feel a sense of disempowerment.  At times, families feel disadvantaged because they are not familiar with the nuances of special education procedures or laws. Kids First consultants are particularly skilled at supporting families as they advocate for their children. Our consultants help families and school teams understand students’ unique profile of cognitive, academic and social emotional strengths and needs, so they can work collaboratively to help students succeed.

At Kids First, our services are tailored to meet the unique needs of children. Please see below for more information about the services we provide. 

We empower and support families.

 
Kids First Collaborative Kim Lechner Children with Disabilities Educational Consultants Illinois
 
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Educational Consulting

Our educational consulting services begin with an intake process that includes a developmental questionnaire, parent interview, and a review of educational records. Your Kids First consultant will then meet with you to discuss written recommendations.

Recommendations may include:

  • proposed additions to a child’s IEP, Section 504 plan, or intervention plan,

  • proposed changes to a child’s IEP, 504, or intervention plan,

  • strategies parents can use at home to support their child,

  • additional resources or referrals for adjunct services.

 
Kids First Collaborative Special Education Advocate IEP Consultant Chicago Illinois
 
 
 
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Direct Advocacy

Our advocacy services include the intake process described above, a comprehensive review of educational records, as well as direct advocacy services at IEP or Section 504 team meetings. Your Kids First consultant will meet with you to understand your child's educational history including strengths and needs. We will clarify your concerns as well as your goals for your child's education. Next,  we will help you prepare for your meetings, and we will advocate alongside you at these meetings to ensure that your perspectives are heard. In preparation for direct advocacy, our consultants may also interview your child, members of your child’s school team, as well as any private therapy providers. We may also observe your child in school settings with your consent. 

 
 
Kids First Collaborative Special Education Advocate IEP Consultant Chicago Illinois
 
 
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Individualized PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL Evaluations

We conduct individualized psycho-educational assessments of your child’s cognitive, academic, and/or social and emotional functioning. Our individualized evaluations begin with an intake interview to discuss your child's strengths and areas of need. Your Kids First consultant will then design an assessment battery based specifically on the referral concern. Before testing begins, our consultants may interview your child,  members of your child's school team, and/or observe your child at home and/or at school with your consent.