I don't believe you to be totally "off-base" at all my friend
-- these are SUPPORT meetings that C. is attending and simply stating
that inservices are of no use is not only UNsupportive, but distorted
to the point of being false. I agree with you that EVERY inservice done
by EVERY individual may not always be ENTIRELY successful, but to overgeneralize
in the way that you describe robs new families of exploring a potentially
very powerful tool -- at the very least it can undermine the effectiveness
of any inservice these new families DO try because they "do not
get their hopes up".
is worse if C. is a "veteran" member of your group. The opinions
of such individuals -- considered to be the voice of experience and
also quite possibly the first voice this family has heard on the subject
-- are going to carry considerable weight with new members. Hence, "veteran"
members have a responsibility to ensure that what they say is fair,
balanced, well thought out, and constructive. If for whatever reason
they are not capable of doing so, their presence in the role of 'supporter'
is damaging to others, and not welcome.
that C.'s mom says that inservices did not work IN C'S CASE, and that
he should be free to say this. Of course he is. However I gather that
this is NOT what C. is saying -- instead he is blurting out that inservices
IN GENERAL do not work. The difference between these two statements
is extreme, and needs to be made clear to C's mother. C's mother might
also be encouraged to think about WHY in her son's case were the inservices
not successful -- if she can put her finger on a couple of reasons then
it would be entirely appropriate (and helpful) for her or C. to talk
about those in the support group: following a discussion of the value
of inservices, either of them could then go on to say that, in their
experience, THE FOLLOWING THINGS MAY UNDERMINE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF
AN INSERVICE (e.g. style of delivery, length of inservice, opportunity
for children to ask questions, whole staff versus one teacher, etc.).
Hence learn from our mistakes -- make sure that when YOUR inservice
is done you avoid the following pitfalls so that YOUR experience is
even better than OURS was.
the final thing that I would want to emphasis to C. is that it is a
PRIVILEGE for him to sit with the grown-ups in their monthly support
meeting. If he can grasp the above, and live with conducting himself
in that way, then he is most welcome to continue interacting with the
adults. Otherwise he has one of three choices: sit quietly in a supportee
rather than a supporter role, spend time in the children's room, or
not attend at all.
this helps! This is most certainly a sticky situation for you to be
in, and I think you are smart to be soliciting the opinions of others
on how to proceed. Good luck to you!