Advocates and Educational Consultants

Both advocates and education consultants guide parents though the process special education process.  They are paid to come to TEAM meetings with you and advisor you on your child's situation.  They have a variety of college degrees, background and experiences.  Often the advocate or Educational consultant will consultant, or join forces with a SPED lawyer if the situation calls for it.

Advocates: are usually parents of special needs children.  They have been trained by the Federation for Children or other SPED organizations in children rights.

Education Consultant: are usually education professionals.  Have a degree in education.  Some are parents of special needs children.  Most are trained to do educational testing of your child and may also be trained by the Federation for Children or other SPED organizations in children rights.


SPecial Needs Advocacy Network (SPAN), an association of advocates and other special education professionals.  That provide educational presentations, enhances the professional growth and development of its members and to act as a primary resource for advocates.  On their website there is a  list of advocates, parents can contact for assistance and are also welcome to attend their workshops on advocacy and topics in special education, check their Program Calendar .

P.O. Box 269
Natick, MA  01760

SPAN phone number 508-655-7999
or visit there




You do not need to attend law school to become an  advocate or education consultant.  Some parents do the advocate training, just so they can be better advocate for their own child.

Two groups we know of who offer advocacy training :

The Federation charges (since 2006) $325 for parents, $425 for professionals there are 8 sessions . Limited scholarships are available for parents

Federation phone number: 617-236-7210 or 800-331-0688
or visit their website:

Other organization and business (i.e. The Dept. of Mental Retardation, Wrightslaw, etc.) offers Educational Advocacy Parent
Consultant Training at different rates. 

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An article from Wrightslaw on advocating (Why advocate, types, what do advocates do, planning)

Advocating for Your Child - Getting Started



The following is a list of professionals who comes recommended by at least three SPED PAC members, we cannot in any way guarantee the result.  It is important to check their references, review their credentials, and interview them to understand whether their skills and approach are a good fit.

These are advocates and education consultants who work in the Concord area.
(Some advocates do not like to do work in the town they live in.)

Listed in order of town:

Advocate's name, Business name, Title Town Telephone Type of disability members have personal experience What members see as their strength Degree Referred by

Sue Terzakis
Advocate -

Educational Advocacy Solutions

Andover, MA  01810 978-686-3212

LD's, NLD, Autism Spectrum, Aspergers, Dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, Early Intervention (Turning 3). 

Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN) trained, knowledge of the law and evaluations.  Can assist and advocate for all aspects of special education.

Martha Stearns, 
Ed. Consultant
Cambridge, MA  02138 617-491-4222 LD, ADHD Her reports, and access to evaluators    SA, CC
Triad Advocacy:
Concord, MA 01742  978-371-2182 LD, ADHD, Dyslexia, SI, Asperger’s Syndrome Federation Children with Special Needs (FCSN) trained, knowledge of the law, understanding of evaluations, reading issues, executive functioning and social issues. BS CC, SA, RC, A

Bonnie Polakoff Advocate

Concord, MA 978-371-9886

NVLD/NLD, ADHD, LD, Aspergers, Autism Spectrum

Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN) trained. Can assist and advocate for all aspects of special education. 

Steve Lowe
Acton, MA 01720 978-263-9725 NVLD/NLD, ADHD, LD, Aspergers, Autism Spectrum Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN) trained. Can assist and advocate for all aspects of special education.  Ph. D.
Trish Orlovsky   Advocate Arlington, MA  02474 339-368-0463

DD, DS, MR, Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, SI, medical issues

Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN) trained.  A member of Special Needs Advocacy Network (SPAN).  Experienced with multiply disabled students and the use of Assistive technology (AT) Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

Joan Toussaint, 
Maynard, MA 01754   978-897-1622 LD, SI, 
Very involved with SPED organizations and special education issues.  - MO, SW,
Susan Grant, 
Ed. Consultant
Newton Center, MA  781-861-6585 Autism, PDD, S&L Will observe your child's program, researches your child's background, and interviews the parents and child.  Advocates with the school system on present as well as future needs. Ed.M. JC, KB

In memory of fellow special education advocate, Donna Murphy.  

Donna Murphy, 
Burlington, MA  01803  781-272-7747 MR, Autism, etc.  Is a Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN) trainer, running meetings, and special education law.  - KV, MO, LH

MURPHY, Donna (Massimilla) Of Burlington, formerly of Lexington entered into rest on Nov. 17, 2015. She leaves behind her devoted husband of 39 years Paul Forde Murphy originally of Quincy, her supportive and caring daughter Jennifer Elaine Rice and her husband Matthew Rice of Stoneham, her endearing daughter Alisha Joy Murphy of Maynard and two precious grandchildren William Forde Rice and Charlotte Ashleigh Rice as well as her constant and dedicated friends. Donna served for many years on many boards and committees related to supporting children and adults with disabilities. She had a private practice as an advocate for the rights of school age children as a sought after guest speaker and trainer in the field, but most of all her deepest dedication was to her family. 



One of our original webpages, created November, 1999, by Melody Orfei
Webpage last modified on April 7, 2017 - V25, by Melody Orfei