Mental Health and Autism Spectrum Consulting

I provide consulting and advocacy concerning special education, autism, mental health, and transition services .for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or mental illness. I also coach individuals who have Asperger traits in interpersonal and employment skills.

Some individuals who have mental illness or who are on the autism spectrum will also meet the legal qualification to receive specialized educational services. Those students who require modified instruction or specialized services in order to make effective progress are entitled to Individual Education Plans (IEP) according the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004. Students who require accommodations in order to gain access to education are entitled to 504 Plans under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. 

Some parents are satisfied with the services, modifications, and accommodations that school districts offer. Those students appear to make effective progress, and some parents choose to have the IEPs terminated. At times, however, parents find themselves in an adversarial stance with respect to their students’ school districts. Parents are often surprised to discover that their students’ districts seem reluctant to provide the optimal services, especially if well-regarded outside experts have recommended those services.

Many parents find that advocating for services in schools and in the community is an overwhelming, stressful process. The laws, regulations, and procedures are confusing. Obtaining accurate information about a child’s progress or about a district’s education or therapeutic options can be very difficult. 

My job is to be your consultant. I have advised many clients.  I excel at obtaining information. I’m persistent and kind. I am knowledgeable about child development, developmental disabilities,  Autism Spectrum Disorder and pediatric mental illness. I completed training to lead parent groups for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I’m a LifeMAP Coach at the Asperger/Autism Network (AANE). I worked for Children’s Hospital Boston and at Dimock as an early intervention developmental specialist.

I’m licensed to practice law in MA, PA, and Israel.  I have decided instead to work as a consultant, rather than as attorney, because my work as a consultant enables me to work directly with people, rather than with documents.   I’m an experienced family and commercial mediator and I use my mediation skills in my work. I believe that preserving families’ relationships with their school districts is very important.

I will advise you about steps to take in case, if despite your best intentions, your relationship with the school district becomes adversarial. 

With the benefit of my skills and experience, you can get through this challenge.

I provide in-person consulting services in Massachusetts and I am available by telephone and by Skpe for long-distance consultations and services. 

Call 617-997-6348 or send an email to rachael.wurtman@gmail.com.

Contact me now to make an appointment.