ERIC Number: ED483203
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: 0
Steps to Success: Communicating with Your Child's School
US Department of Education
This document is geared for parents who have a child receiving special education services. Parents of children receiving special education services are more than likely very involved in their child's education - including planning, reviewing, and assessing their child's education program. Over time, parents will learn a lot about the special education process and how to communicate and negotiate on their child's behalf. Knowledge, skill, and confidence will naturally increase. There are some communication skills that can help parents to be successful in developing and maintaining a strong partnership with their child's school. These steps to success are geared to help parents who are new to the special education process: (1) be mindful of your emotional pressure gauge as you work with your child's school; (2) prioritize and plan; (3) actively listen to understand the other; (4) clarify your statements if you see a puzzled expression on someone's face and ask for clarification in return; (5) have options in mind and offer them for discussion, as needed; and (6) remember you're only human. As parents communicate and negotiate, they will uncover areas where they are in agreement with the school. Parents and school may agree on the issue that must be addressed but not be in full agreement on how to address it. This is when is can be especially helpful to restate and discuss options in a problem solving way. This means presenting and fully analyzing proposed solutions in their own merit. and asking some direct, yet polite, questions.
Descriptors: Parent School Relationship, Problem Solving, Special Education, Communication Skills, Parent Rights
CADRE, P.O. Box 51360, Eugene, OR 97405-0906. Tel: 541-686-5060.
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Sponsor: Office of Special Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE), Eugene, OR.