Gillespie
Educational
Consulting


Dana W. Gillespie, MA










  • Special Education Consultant
  • Advocate
  • Behavior Specialist
  • Certified Special Education Teacher







Is your child struggling in school?

Are you concerned about possible delays or challenges?   Are they having difficulty meeting academic or behavioral expectations?   Do you have questions about resources or supports that might be available in the school setting?  If your child is receiving special education services, are you concerned about a lack of progress or confused by the process?  

Gillespie Educational Consulting can help with these concerns.

Services

Gillespie Educational Consulting is committed to providing individualized educational consulting to families of students with or without identifed special needs.  

Services include:

  • Helping parents understand the process of student support and available interventions at the school level
  • Reviewing available student records and school communication
  • Working with families to investigate and resolve discipline or attendance issues
  • Analyzing IEP (Individualized Education Plan) data, progress reports, eligibility documents, assessments/evaluations, discipline referrals
  • Conducting student observations
  • Facilitating communication with school teams
  • Attending school meetings with parents
  • Identifying lapses in compliance and/or service delivery
  • Interpreting  educational/reading assessments
  • Researching alternative instructional interventions, programs, or settings

Philosophy

I believe that all children can learn, and that all children want to feel successful in school. When students experience behavioral and educational challenges, navigating procedures and services can be stressful and overwhelming for families. Having an informed guide to interpret the process and advocate for student rights can decrease anxiety, alleviate uncertainty, and help families make informed decisions.  I believe it is the role of schools to access resources and support teachers so they can develop the skills needed to meet the needs of all learners.  



Experience

With  a Masters Degree in Special Education from George Washington University  and almost 30 years of experience in special education as a teacher,  inclusion facilitator, workshop presenter, and behavior specialist, I  have developed and implemented hundreds of IEPs, FBAs (Functional  Behavior Assessment), and BIPs (Behavior Intervention Plan). I  know what good programming looks like, how to effectively measure  progress, and the importance of monitoring procedural compliance.  I have worked with children who have a variety of special needs  (learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders,  emotional or intellectual disabilities) across both special education  and general education settings. I have participated in and presented  training for both teachers and parents covering a range of topics such  as learning and behavior challenges, social skills, instructional models, and  research-based methodologies.  


As a consultant, I have helped  parents resolve attendance and discipinary issues and access  accommodations and supports for their children in the school setting.  I  have supported families moving through the special education eligibility and IEP process, and fought for expanded services through due process and litigation when warranted.  

Client Testimonials

"Dana  helped us navigate the special education process with our son, from  eligibilty to multiple IEPs, and ultimately through due process and into  a funded private placement.  Her professional knowledge and procedural  expertise were definite assets at school meetings, and she made sure we  understood our rights as parents and what supports and interventions  were required in order for our son to make progress."


D and L, parents



"We hired Dana when we felt our requests for an evaluation had not been given the proper attention by our school team.   She was able to identify specific procedural lapses and helped advocate for increased support for our daughter at school.  We definitely felt her knowledgable presence at school meetings put the team on notice, held them accountable, and resulted in a more timely and appropriate response to our evaluation process.  Dana  approaches her work with experience and care; her efforts resulted in  better school support for our daughter and an improvement in our own  advocacy for our  daughter going forth."


Jean and Dave, parents



"We consulted Dana about  our school's administrative response to some medical and attendance  issues our child was experiencing.   Dana listened attentively, asked great questions, and had a genuine concern for our daughter.  She knows the law like the back of her hand and  she was  able to determine that the school had not followed procedural  guidelines for academic interventions or communication, which aided us  in our efforts to resolve the situation.  Dana provided us with guidance that helped us feel more informed and empowered in our interactions with the school.  On  a selfish note, she was also non- judgmental of us as parents, which was  very meaningful.  If your kid is struggling, you struggle too.  As  parents, we began questioning all of our actions from birth forward and  couldn’t see the forest for the trees.   Calling Dana and getting her  help was invaluable.   We just wish we had done it sooner."


Libby Clarke

Where to Start

Contact me for a complimentary 30 minute phone consultation.

We'll discuss your student's experiences, what challenges you are having, and consider options for moving forward.   I am committed to helping families feel heard, respected, and confident in their dealings with their children's schools, and I'll do everything I can to help your child get the support they need and are entitled to under the law.

Contact Information

Here's how to reach me:

Gillespie Educational Consulting, LLC

gec.dana@gmail.com

202.246.2708