I have met her. There is no doubt in my mind. She was disguised as an advocate at an IEP meeting I attended on Wedsnesday. Had to be the nastiest, ugliest, meanest woman that I have ever encountered in my life.
Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against advocates in the IEP process. Matter of fact, I actually believe that any parent who has a child in special education should have one. And they shouldn't have to pay out of their own pockets for them. The special education maze can sometimes be enough to send me over the edge and I have had training and experience in it. I can't even begin to imagine what it does to the parent that has no prior experience with it and no prior knowledge of how things work with it.
That being said....this woman should NOT be allowed to be an advocate. It is one thing to come into a meeting to advocate (hence their titles) for what is best for the child at hand. It is completely another to do nothing but badmouth, bitch and moan, and complain about the staff working with this child. For the most part, the team is doing what they know to do for the kid. Yes there could be improvements, but there always could. And coming in ranting and raving like a lunatic as opposed to asking for x,y, and z will get you nowhere with this team.
At one point, she was actually questioning what qualifications and training the resource teacher had. Now correct me if I am wrong, but having been hired by the school district 2 years ago, she was already checked to make sure that she met the district's standards. The fact that she didn't meet the standards of this advocate is what was amazing to me.
At one point, she actually accused the resource teacher and reading specialist of falsifying the results on the most recent testing they had conducted on this child. They were convinced that there was no way he could have made as much progress as he did. Now correct me if I am wrong, but isn't that the whole fucking purpose of the supports that are in place for him??? To make these amazing gains??? And they accused the team of having their expectations set too low, yet they are the ones questioning how he was able to make that much progress. Doesn't sound to me like their expectations are all that high either.
One of the most ironic things that I saw during the meeting was that when I spoke to mom on the phone in the weeks prior after completing my own evaluation, she was pleasant and responsive to me. Yes she had some concerns and frustrations, but what parent doesn't? However, this advocate opened her mouth and all these atrocities and accusations started flying about, and all it took was that little fire under mom's ass and she became a crazed lunatic as well.
The saddest part of the meeting....the fact that over 2 hours into it, NOTHING was resolved. Nothing in this child's programming had changed (and I'm not so sure that it really needed to), none of their concerns were met with resolution. The only thing that came out of it, was that now the entire team is scrambling to make sure that this kid has anything and everything available to him. Most of which he doesn't even need. But of course, the district is so terrified of due process that they will do anything to avoid it, no matter the costs.
It's days like this that I really hate my job. Most of the time, I really enjoy what I do. For the most part, I have it pretty easy when it comes to my job. Then you run into the devil incarnate and she makes you doubt what you do! Damn woman...she is evil and needs to be destroyed!