Special Education Consultant and Advocate
MS, Elementary Education, Syracuse University, 1974
MA, Special Education, University of Connecticut, 1975
Parent Consultant Training, Federation for Children with Special Needs, 1984, 2007
A Balanced Relationship
When we made initial contact with Jayne on behalf of our daughter, we were immediately impressed with her candor, her warmth, and her dedicated passion for children. Although her title is Educational Consultant, she is actually all that and more. Our family considers her to be our Educational Guardian Angel. We have benefited tremendously from Jayne's pragmatic and thoughtful approach to managing our daughter's varied academic and social-emotional profile. As parents of a child with special needs, we were suddenly relieved of the burden, the worry, and the frustration that often accompanies the role of being a child's parent/advocate. This release of burden allowed us to reconnect as a family. Once again, we were able to focus on enjoying our child for who she is, and for who she will become.
Jayne skillfully balances the relationship with "her families" and the schools their children attend. Perhaps her most important contribution to the relationship is her ability to interject unbiased, thought-provoking questions to challenge parents and educators to consider what they actually want for the child, and what the child truly needs to make effective progress. We are so thankful that Jayne keeps our expectations real, while never once compromising our daughter's right to an appropriate education. Jayne also places a high premium on the preservation of our daughter's self-esteem. Now that we have neared the end of the placement process, we feel that the programming our team has designed (with Jayne as lead facilitator) meets our daughter's needs, while ensuring that she feels safe and comfortable as she takes learning risks or explores new social situations.
Amazingly, our child's school-based team feels as positively about Jayne as we do. Typically, schools and advocates have a perfunctory relationship that may often become strained. Through all phases of our team planning, Jayne spoke with confidence and experiential knowledge. We knew that we were in good hands. At one point, a team member thanked us for working with such a remarkable consultant! This endorsement, in our opinions, rings louder than any other. In these unfortunate days of shrinking budgets, school systems are faced with doing more with less. I believe that our daughter's team respects and values Jayne's opinion and her pragmatism. They are very willing to work with her to problem solve. Jayne does not impose her views. She collaborates in the best interests of the child.
When a family contracts with Jayne Fisher they are agreeing to allow a new member into the family who will hold their child's well-being front and center as a non-negotiable instrument by which all else will be measured. In very short order, the family most likely will forget the contract aspect of the relationship, as did our family. Jayne's contributions extend far beyond any written agreement. She is our guardian angel, and for that, we are very thankful!
Professional & Direct, but Not Confrontational
Prior to working with Jayne Fisher, we had several parent advocates who were unable to assist us in attaining proper services for our autistic son. We were under severe financial strain. Our relationship with our school district was difficult.
Jayne was able to get the services our child needed as well as mend our relationship with our school district. Jayne is highly knowledgeable about Special Education law. We trust her advice and never feel that we have to check her facts. She is professional and has a style that is direct, but not confrontational. These qualities enable her to keep negotiations moving in a positive direction and to get results. We highly recommend her services.
Level-Headed & Knowledgeable
Our son has been on an IEP since 1st grade. When he was in 4th grade, we were in the process of doing our three-year review and decided to have him privately tested. The school also did some additional testing of their own after receiving our private test results. We felt that we needed to find someone to help us interpret ALL of the reports correctly and come with us to our IEP meetings to address our son's needs. Our son has a Language Based Learning Disability. We wanted to make sure that he was getting exactly what he needed for help, not what the school was willing to offer.
Jayne Fisher was recommended to us by a couple of different people. We feel so thankful that we found her. She was able to speak with us, read through ALL of the testing and consolidate all of the information. She is calm, level-headed and very knowledgeable. We have described her way of working with the IEP Team as...pleasantly persistent. Jayne was well-received by our school and we felt that the tone of the meeting was much better with her there. We felt very reassured knowing that Jayne understands the law and what the school needs to provide for us. Jayne had a very clear plan as to what our son's IEP should include and without her there, we feel we would never had been able to write such a complete and thorough plan for the teachers to follow. It has made all the difference in the world. Along with the Team, Jayne was able to come up with many good ideas on how to help our son work to his potential. Some of the ideas were very specific to him and it has made a huge difference in his school day. He is entering Middle School next year and we plan to include Jayne in our future meetings with the hope of continued success.
Diane & Dan Quinn, Holden, MA
Highly Recommend Jayne
I hired Jayne Fisher last year, after a meeting with our school system that did not go so well. Jayne came into our situation not at its best time. She was able to diffuse the situation so that a good compromise could be worked out. She worked wonderfully with our school administrators, Team Chair and teachers; she truly has become a member of the TEAM. It was such a relief to resolve our issue, but she didn't stop with that, she helped direct us to get the necessary documentation for our child to receive more service at school as well as service at home. Having an Educational Consultant/Advocate that you can work with and the school can work with is a wonderful find. I would highly recommend Jayne to anyone considering hiring an Educational Consultatnt/Advocate.
We are pleased to recommend Jayne Fisher as an Educational Advocate for children with special needs. We have been working with Jayne for three years, since our daughter was in preschool. At that time, we realized we needed someone on our side that could come to the table with a full understanding of our child's needs and be a firm, yet calm, voice of reason. This person is Jayne Fisher. Because of her dedicated efforts, our child gets the special education programs and services she needs.
Although we pride ourselves for being our child's most important advocate, it reached a point where we just could not advocate appropriately or successfully navigate the special education system we were up against. Jayne's knowledge of advocacy issues and best practices coupled with her extensive experience and training has given her the ability to advocate effectively for children with complex challenges.
Jayne has given us the assurance that she can advocate for our child by masterfully presenting valid reasons why the school must provide the appropriate services for our child. We value her skills in negotiating to obtain what is best for our child and highly recommend her services to parents who want a better education for their children.
CC and BC, Central Massachusetts