Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA)
3251 Old Lee Highway, # 510
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone : 703-591-4850
July 13, 2005
Fairfax, VA - With reality shows such as "Brat Camp"
appearing on television and focusing attention on programs for
troubled children, educational consultants stress the need for
individual assessment and placement. "Intervention and wilderness
programs such as the program depicted in "Brat Camp"
can be an excellent alternative for families with at-risk teenagers,"
said Mark Sklarow, executive director of the Independent Educational
Consultants Association. "But programs vary, and the key
to a successful outcome is finding the proper placement for each
Issues such as drug use, promiscuity, aggression, and ADHD create
a barrage of often overwhelming emotions in a family. The confusion
and desperation associated with a troubled teen can be extremely
trying. As parents look for answers, most are not aware of what
options are available. Given the immediate need often associated
with these situations, at-risk teenagers can be especially vulnerable
to an improper placement. Educational consultants are trained
experts who possess comprehensive knowledge of placement options.
Many consultants specialize in crisis intervention, and have extensive
experience advising families with children who have emotional
and behavioral difficulties.
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This expertise is used to advise families on the most suitable
placement for the child.
"An independent consultant thoroughly interviews both the
child and the family to determine individual needs and concerns,"
said Sklarow. "Getting to know both the parents and the child
in a neutral environment is vital to discovering the solution.
Often the child will open up to an objective listener such as
a consultant, sharing information that surprises the parent."
In some cases, testing may be done to determine specific learning
and behavioral patterns. Teens who are "acting out"
can appear very similar, although the underlying roots of the
behavior can be quite different. Programs are then researched
to find the best fit for the child. Educational consultants spend
about 20% of their time on the road, visiting therapeutic programs
and other educational institutions. Not tied to any one institution,
they can concentrate on providing unbiased options.
After placement the consultant follows up with the child to monitor
progress. Consultants often work as part of a treatment team in
conjunction with therapists, and can also serve as supports for
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Chartered in 1976, the Independent Educational Consultants Association
(IECA) is a non-profit, professional association of full-time
experienced independent consultants. From its headquarters in
the Washington, DC area, IECA can help put parents in touch with
consultants in their local area. Member consultants work with
clients on a wide range of educational issues, including college
placement, private day and boarding school options, programs for
at-risk children, and students with learning disabilities or special
needs. Membership in the Association requires an appropriate masterís
degree or comparable training and a minimum of three years experience
in the profession, as well as meeting IECAís professional standards
and subscribing to its Principles of Good Practice. Members continually
update their knowledge and maintain skills through IECA-sponsored
meetings, workshops, training programs, and information exchanges
with colleges, schools, programs and other consultants.