Okay. Happy is a bit of an overstatement.
Let’s face it. School teams are never thrilled when they see an advocate walk in to a team meeting. After all advocates have more time to analyze and interpret the evaluations; they often have a greater breath of knowledge about special education law; and more often than not, the school has not been completely honest about the specific individual needs of your child. I say this not to demonize schools, but to point out an ugly reality, there is just not enough money to go around, and the team is just trying to spread their resources around in the most efficient manner. When an advocate enters the room, the team knows that the jig is up and that they will now be held accountable to create a specialized educational plan for your child.
Often this fear is what is expressed by parents who have never worked with an advocate before. They fear that the school will retaliate against them or their child, or that the advocate will make it so uncomfortable in the meeting, that the parent will not feel comfortable giving eye contact to the principal ever again.
We understand this fear, and it is simply not our style to enter a meeting with a tone of anger or manipulation. Conversely we believe in the idea of collaboration. Our main aim is to educate the school about your child’s specific educational profile, and bring both the parents and the team together for the purpose of creating the best experience for your child.
This novel approach of collaboration, separates us from the hordes of other advocates out there who leave scorched earth behind them. School have told us nightmare stories of advocates who cause much more grief than good. When we enter the room, these schools take in a deep breath of relief because they know that we are here to work with them and not against them
There are cases where this is no longer possible, and in those rare circumstances were the client is heading for a hearing, we will pull out all the stops to ensure that your child receives the education that they deserve.