Both Advocates and Educational Consultants help parents through the Special Education process.
Advocates are typically parents with children that have special needs. They have been trained by the Federation for Children with Special Needs or other SPED organizations in children’s rights. Information on advocacy training and a guide on choosing an advocate can be found at the Federation for Children with Special Needs site. An article from Wrightslaw on advocating: Advocating for Your Child – Getting Started
Special Needs Advocacy Network (SPAN) is an association of advocates and other special education professionals.
Education Consultants are usually professionals with a degree in education. Most of them are trained to perform educational testing on your child and may also be trained by the Federation for Children or other SPED organizations in children’s rights.
The Independent Educational Consultants’ Association offers additional resources.