• Report: #790832

Complaint Review: Elaine Berkley

  • Submitted: Thu, October 20, 2011
  • Updated: Wed, November 23, 2011

  • Reported By: Anonymous — Gilbert Arizona United States of America
Elaine Berkley
Scottsdale, Arizona United States of America

Elaine Berkley Frogs Landing Took my money and disappeared Scottsdale, Arizona

*Consumer Comment: Worth Every Penny!

*Consumer Comment: update

*Consumer Comment: Repeat Offender

*General Comment: Elaine Berkley is the best

*Consumer Comment: Elaine Berkley is Outstanding


*Consumer Comment: social skills group and advocacy

*Consumer Comment: Elaine Berkley has been my children's advocate for four years

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I was referred to Elaine Berkely and her Frogs Landing 'business' for a possible summer social group for my 7 year-old autistic son.  She had an appointment at my home to discuss her business with  me.  Upon arriving an hour late, my son was in the middle of speech therapy at that point (home-based therapy), and she and I only had a chance to speak a little.  But she did say that she had no social groups at that time and then marketed and sold her education advocacy services. 

I paid her $2300 for just over a year's worth of services.  She had me sign a contract, which included a money-back guarantee that is pro-rated.  She took my check, cashed it, and disappeared. 

She told me that she needed to do A and B with the school before we all needed to attend my son's IEP.  She never did A or B.  I called her twice, and twice she asked me to call back and remind her to do A and B.  I'm thinking 'you have to be kidding' by now.  Then his IEP happened, school ended, and my money was gone. 

I emailed her at the end of June asking for a refund; it was a detailed and polite email.  I never heard back.  I sent another email in July and still no reply.  I then emailed a colleague of hers also listed at the time on her website, and the colleague responded that Elaine was recovering from surgery.  I called her in early August, and Elaine did answer, acknowledge my emails and promised a refund 'within 30 days'.  I was entitled to a full refund, and she agreed readily and pleasantly. 

I never received it.  That was 10 weeks ago.  I have called twice more and left voicemails and sent three more emails, to no avail.  Not only am I now trying to advocate myself as a single mom for my autistic son, but I have a daughter as well, I'm out $2300, and I have to file in court against this woman.  I had enough problems before I met her, and now I have more.

She is quite adept at marketing herself, but BE CAREFUL.  No contract offering money back can make her return your calls or return the money!!!   You have to pay MORE money to file in court!  There are better, more professional advocates in the valley.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/20/2011 10:59 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Elaine-Berkley/Scottsdale-Arizona-85254/Elaine-Berkley-Frogs-Landing-Took-my-money-and-disappeared-Scottsdale-Arizona-790832. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Worth Every Penny!

AUTHOR: thewildwest - (United States of America)

Elaine Berkley & her associate Kelly have helped our family so much! 

My husband & I hired them to assist our 12 year old son(who has Aspergers) with a very negative school environment.  The assistance they provided was fantastic & we could not have gotten thru the situation without their expertise & support.  Knowing the two of them were on his side made my son feel very special which is priceless for a young man fighting such a big battle. 

The services provided by Elaine & Kelly were very professional & worth every penny!  We would highly recommend their services to any family in need of help. 
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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: AutismMom - (USA)

After requesting and waiting for over 8 months we have received a check from Ms. Berkley refunding a portion of what was paid to her .
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#3 Consumer Comment

Repeat Offender

AUTHOR: AutismMom - (United States of America)

My family has experienced a similiar circumstance. We were given her name by a medical professional and special service providers for our autistic son. We, too, paid the agreed amount and signed her prepared agreement. I felt so relieved to know that we would be receiving help from a professional who knew how to deal with such an overwelming process. She said she would work on specific areas of concern with our son's school and nothing was ever done. When I called and asked about the status of what we were working on she said asked what was she suppose to be doing? Or oh she would get with the school and let me know. We terminated services after she never showed up for a schedule IEP meeting. A meeting where she selected the date and time and was given a draft a day prior to the meeting with an email saying see you tomorrow. She completely understood why we would be so upset and why we were terminating our agreement. She agreed to refund our money and to date we have not seen a penny. We went to this woman for help and she took over $2000, provided nothing in return and now makes us continually beg for our refund. It is wrong on so many levels and to say that we are very upset is putting it mildly. She is a text book conwoman.
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#4 General Comment

Elaine Berkley is the best

AUTHOR: Diedra Freedman - (United States of America)

This afternoon I attended a conference of the AZ Autism Coalition where Elaine Berkley moderated a parent panel presentation. Elaine shared her advice & experience as the parent of a child who is challenged by Asperger's. Someone from the audience asked a question about educational placement & it was Elaine who cited the precedent setting case law while explaining the relevant 4 pronged test making sure she included practical examples so that pitfalls could be avoided & the child's strengths could be seen in the best possible light in order to secure the best possible placement for the child. BTW, two of the other panel members were lawyers (no case recitation from either) although in their defense neither practices Ed Law.

I have no knowledge of the basis for this complaint as this doesn't describe the Elaine I know personally and by reputation. Elaine Berkley was one of the first parents I met after my son was diagnosed with autism nine years ago. Her advice & counsel have been invaluable both for my son's education and my sanity. Her reputation is well known here in AZ where parents pray she has an opening when they need her services. Professionals who work in the special needs arena hire Elaine when they need the assistance of an educational advocate for their child. That says it all.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Elaine Berkley is Outstanding

AUTHOR: ElaineBerkleyIsTheBestAdvocate - (United States of America)

I have had a chance to know Elaine Berkley for many years. I have personally met dozens of families who have had the good fortunate to have Elaine as their child's educational advocate. She's a bull dog who won't give up until each child is receiving the appropriate services to which they have a right and which they need to become independent individuals. I know many situations in which Elaine continued working with families far beyond the date of their agreement, with no additional request for payment, because Elaine knew that with more work she could get a child what they needed.

Elaine has developed relationships with many school districts, all of whom may not like her but where her knowledge and expertise is recognized. Families tell me that just mentioning Elaine's name at a school meeting will help them get long overdue services.

Elaine treats every parent she meets or calls her with respect and empathy. Since she is the parent of a special needs child she knows when we are need, in panic mode, or simply frightened about our child's future. Her knowledge and experience are highly impressive.

It has been years since Elaine has made any attempt to advertise her services. She rarely makes public appearances anymore and does not go out seeking clients. Her former clients spread the word as do many pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, speech and language specialists, and OTs.

Any family with a special needs child who has the good fortunate to meet and work with Elaine is truly fortunate. She changes lives.
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#6 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Proud Father - (USA)

I am the father of a twenty-five year old man with Asperger's Syndrome. When he was diagnosed the Syndrome was unknown to American educational systems. I was constantly being told that he had behavioral problems and some even recommended institutional care.

Elaine Berkley changed all that. She worked with my son, she researched the literature from Europe where all of the research was then being conducted and then she went to the schools and convinced, cajoled and sometimes just wore them down, until we had programs in place to help my son. He had the first personal aide ever approved by our school district that went with him from class to class.

Elaine was always there for my son, every meeting, every consultation. She found medical professionals when those were needed and she went into the schools and trained his teachers. I am sure many children are still benefiting from the training those teachers received.

Today he is a smart, engaging young man who excels at math and philosophy and who is going to college, (Granted on the 10 year plan, but every semester a little closer to that degree). But what I find truly is wonderful, is that he has been in a loving, committed relationship with a wonderful young woman for over three years now. That was something we thought might never happen and I believe that Elaine Berkley made that possible.
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#7 Consumer Comment

social skills group and advocacy

AUTHOR: Parent of a teen with autism spectr - (United States of America)

My son was a long attending member of Elaines social groups and still talks today about how that impacted him and how safe and helpful it was. He no longer needs social groups anymore, he is doing well without support.

As for advocacy she helped me through some of the most difficult situations in my son's life. Her expertise and positive relationships helped me make effective changes when I did not know what else to do. I love that Elaine always gave me choices and let me take action. She guided me and coached me so I could learn to do it myself. Elaine responded to my questions and ideas promptly and professionally.

Elaine was a positive tipping point in my son's education. I would recommend everyone to have a mentor and advocate in their child's life. She brought ideas to the table I would have never known about. 

The idea that Elaine is some marketing genius that is manipulating is crazy, when you meet her she is a genuinen motherly woman who is passionate about kids and families. She is not afraid to say, "I don't know" or "lets look into that". Her ideas were always presented as choices for myself and my husband to make. She never judged us or discounted our information. She recommended effective ways to deliver our requests to the school. As a parent I felt stronger having her working with me and I think the school listened better having her there.
Thank you!
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#8 Consumer Comment

Elaine Berkley has been my children's advocate for four years

AUTHOR: MomOfTwoSpecialNeedsKids - (United States of America)

I have two special needs children -- and Elaine started representing my youngest when my youngest was in kindergarten. Four academic years later, she still represents my children, who have made genuine progress. She knows the law, she has background knowledge of many disabilities, and she is extremely observant, pointing out details about our children that we might have noticed (or not) and that turn out to have significance. She helped me understand my own children better, and I did not think that that was possible. Elaine knows the teachers and the decisionmakers in the districts. She knows about what schools are good for what needs. Her prices are reasonable and fair -- especially given the wealth of her experience. She is reliable, responsive and accessible. The things that she suggests for IEPs are not obvious even to those of us who know IDEA 2004, and have detailed knowledge of our children's disabilities -- how the goals are worded, but also goals that would not have occurred to us to think of, but that are indispensible. The teachers and decisionmakers in my children's district know her and respect Elaine. What is more, Elaine knows a lot about other service providers your children may need, and gives you information to decide who is a good fit and who is not, and the pros and cons of that provider -- such as neurologists, psychiatrists, psychoeducational evaluators, etc. She is delightful, she is compassionate, and she is realistic. I have no idea what the complainants above are talking about, and I'm shocked to see this. The best of the best sometimes run into unbalanced people who can't be pleased and who distort facts, and I think that this is what happened to Elaine, here. If you have children who have special needs, or you think that they might, or someone has told you that they might, I recommend Elaine enthusiastically. Incidentally, Elaine does not advertise -- her clients find her through word of mouth.
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