What help can a parent expect to receive from an Education Consultant?
An Education Consultant will:
- meet with the parents to review the psychologist’s report and discuss what implications his/her findings may have for their child in the school setting
- help parents identify the most pressing issues in the child’s education (academically or behaviorally) that interferes with the child reaching his/her potential
- include the parents in developing possible IEP goals that parents can present to the child’s Special Education teacher and other IEP team members, and request to be included in the annual IEP
- inform and advise the parents on different data collection possibilities to request in the IEP meeting
- discuss with parents their rights and roles in developing and tracking progress, in conjunction with the other members of the student’s IEP team, in their child’s educational program
Parent Comments: Nicole,
I just wanted to take a minute and let you know that on behalf of my father, Hannah’s step-mom and myself we’re so impressed with your involvement with this difficult situation. Your professional conduct during the rough spots was so impressive. We finally feel there is hope and there will be resolution. We know it will not be corrected overnight but we are headed in the right direction. Most importantly I feel having you guiding us in the best interest of Hannah we could not be in better hands. - Connie G.
T. Nicole Ward, M.H.R.
Nicole Ward joins Moore Counseling Center as an education consultant to families with school-aged children who have been diagnosed with a disability or other impairment that interferes with the child’s ability to function to his/her potential and experience success in the school setting. With over 7 years experience as a classroom Special Education teacher, and having completed graduate and post graduate coursework and fifteen hundred hours of supervised practice in behavior analysis, Nicole combines her knowledge of both areas to provide caregivers of these children applicable insight into how the public school system’s special education departments function and how caregivers can appropriately participate in and advocate for their child in Individualized Education Program (IEP) and 504 meetings.
Prior to joining Moore Counseling Center, Nicole has been and continues to be a Special Education teacher in a local public school district. Nicole has written and managed well over one hundred IEPs addressing every student’s individual needs, both academically and behaviorally, by writing specific and attainable IEP goals, and developing a plan for each student to address and ultimately make gains toward these goals. In her first five years of teaching, Nicole supervised and trained up to five teaching assistants in the high school’s Autism program to ensure their understanding and accurate implementation of behavior modification and academic programs specific to every student. She currently serves in a dual role as a self-contained teacher and co-teacher with the general education teachers in a middle school. As a co-teacher, Nicole identifies necessary general education program modifications and develops and provides the general education teacher necessary accommodations for mainstreamed students on IEPs. She collects and analyzes data relevant to each student’s goals.
From 2005 through 2011, Nicole was Norman High’s Autism Program teacher, managing a caseload of at least fifteen students at a time, on the autism spectrum including Asperger’s syndrome. She worked closely with administrators and general education teachers to ensure compliance with the IEP and state and federal laws. In addition, Nicole successfully advocated for students with special needs and worked tirelessly to teach acceptance both in the school and in the local community. She created and supervised a student organization at Norman High called Students Assisting Students (SAS) that brought in student peers to work directly with the students with special needs. The organization was a huge success and made such an impact on the peer students and students with special needs that friendships and assistance is still maintained beyond some of their high school careers. Some former student aides have even gone on to major in and graduate with degrees in Special Education as a direct result of participation in the SAS organization.
Previously to this, Nicole served as a noncommissioned officer in the US Navy at the Pacific Headquarters in Hawaii, under a one star Army general. She was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and Enlisted Person of the Quarter during her four year tour.
Nicole holds a Master’s degree in Human Relations (MHR) and a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education both awarded by the University of Oklahoma. She completed fifteen post graduate hours in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) through the University of North Texas, and fifteen hundred hours of supervised ABA practice under Dr. DJ Moran.