John Krieger, M.Ed., Special Needs Advocacy and Educational Consulting

part of a team of professionals Collaborating for the benefit of special needs children

John Krieger Fox Meadow Executive Center 300 W Main Street, Building B Northborough, MA 01532 Phone: 413-522-2908

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Educational Consultant?

There are a variety of types of educational consultants. One group works in higher education, another group of educational consultants are generalists, and then there are those like me who advise families on how to get their special needs child the individualized and appropriate education he or she needs to successfully progress.

My expertise is used to educate parents about the special education process. I advise parents as to how to go about getting the free and appropriate education their child is entitled to under the law. I help design and revise individual education programs (IEPs), participate in team meetings, observe student programs, interview staff and administrators, review student evaluations, recommend testing, and interpret evaluations, testing results and recommendations done by school staff or independent clinicians. Ultimately, I assist families with all aspects of special education as it relates to their child so they understand what is needed, what is currently going on, where we need to go, and how we are going to get there.

My job is to empower parents so they can learn how to effectively advocate for their child, and perhaps someday help other special needs parents understand how to do the same.

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What is an Educational Advocate?

An educational advocate is someone who represents a child with a disability on behalf of the family by working directly with schools through written correspondence, phone calls, interviews, observations, and meetings. An advocate speaks to the issues at hand and works assertively to attain the appropriate education and individualized education program a child needs to make effective progress, and is entitled to under the law.

An advocate makes the case to the school on behalf of his/her client. An advocate also keeps records and vital materials in case it becomes necessary to go to mediation or hearing. Good advocates are able to convey a complex set of facts to an attorney concisely and succinctly should the need arise.

The best advocates work collaboratively and affectively with the child’s team, constantly striving to build positive and professional relationships focused on the needs of the child. When this happens the process moves expeditiously, effectively and efficiently.

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Why is it good to hire someone who does both educational consulting and advocating?

Some advocates have little to no experience as professional educators. If you hire an educational consultant with a solid history as a professional in the field of education, who is also a professionally trained advocate, you have an ally with keener insight into the special needs educational system that can save years in time and tens of thousands of dollars.


Because an educational consultant with professional experience and credentials in education who is also a professionally trained advocate knows how to help families get their children what they need. In general schools recognize when parents and their advocate/consultant know what they are doing because we properly utilize and understand special education jargon (language), best practices, testing results, evaluations, procedures, regulations, and laws. A good consultant and advocate will guide a family towards what is appropriate and fair under the law using a collaborative approach that leaves the family and school relationship intact if not better than before an advocate/consultant was involved.

One more thing, a good advocate is constantly preparing a case should a school be in disagreement or chooses to ignore evidence supporting the need for an IEP, changes to an IEP, or another placement. This means if my client should have to go to mediation or before a hearing officer, I have an organized file filled with succinct expert evidence from credible professionals that helps an attorney quickly see what is going on and how we’ll need to proceed. Again, this can save time and tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

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Why shouldn’t I just try to get my child what he or she needs on my own?

You can certainly try to advocate for your child on your own, any number of parents have successfully advocated for their children. Indeed, part of my job is to help educate parents so they can become effective advocates for their children and a resource for other special needs parents and children.

Chances are though if you are reading this you have been frustrated or overwhelmed by a complicated and often cumbersome special needs educational system.

If you do need help remember this, it is extremely difficult to separate emotions from advocacy when it comes to our children. So, if you are frustrated by the special needs system and know in your gut you are not helping your child get the education they need, give me a call. Initial consults are free!

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So why should you hire me?

My experiences as an educator are vast. Suffice it to say I have seen and lived enough special education, both professionally and personally, to know what works best when helping a child attain the free and appropriate education he/she is entitled to under the law. I have lived both sides of the educational desk and have experienced what goes on behind the scenes in schools.

When a client hires me they are really getting a team of people who believe in collaborating for the benefit of special needs children. This helps me remain objective while gathering expert advice, evidence and opinions. I have learned to challenge, be humble, remain flexible, and always stay focused on what is in the best interest of my client.

No consultant or advocate should work in a vacuum.

I worked in public education for most of the past two decades, and for much of that time I was a head English teacher for grades 7-12 in a regional school district. I was involved with numerous special needs children and have attended countless team meetings. I spent years watching and learning what goes on behind the scenes.

I have a special needs son who has moderate to severe needs. He was a victim of the system and I probably made every mistake a parent can make trying to get my son what he needed. When I finally hired an advocate it only took two team meetings, both within a month, to get my son on the path to an appropriate individualized education program. To this day, I bring a professional with me to all my son’s team meetings because I know I cannot separate my emotions and love for my son from being objective.

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How do I proceed?

Call or email to provide me with a general idea of your concerns. Next, set up an initial in-person one hour consultation with me at NO CHARGE. If you decide to hire me I will begin the process immediately. You will leave the meeting with a clearer understanding of where we are headed, how we are going to get there, and what it is going to take to achieve our objectives.

One Last Thought

Our children only get one chance at a free and appropriate education. I became an educational consultant and advocate because I have lived the life of a special needs parent. I have lived through the loneliness, frustration, and at times overwhelming hopelessness.

Let me show you how we can work together to make a positive difference for your child.

Time is vital; there is hope.

No charge for first consultation!