As a Parent of a Special Needs Child

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by cutNglue, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 11, 2011

    I wish every teacher understood just how hard it is to be on this side of the table.
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2011

    I can't even imagine.

    Hugs, cut, to you and to him.
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 11, 2011

    Sure you can. You have one too. :)
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2011

    I wish the same--I try to understand, but could often do much better than I do.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 11, 2011

    We must always remember that each child is the light and love of a parent's life.
     
  7. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I totally agree. I wish every teacher who doesn't understand what it's like would have a special needs child of their own. Many teachers are very understanding and caring, but those who can't get it, need to be put in yours and my shoes to get a special appreciation of how difficult it is.

    Hugs to you. Hang in there and keep advocating for him. He knows you're on his side.
     
  8. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Oct 11, 2011

    :hugs: cutNglue. Sometimes, I worry about not be understanding enough. I do try my best though.

    I did have a little argument with one of my assistants' over whether or not we should talk to a student's mother about her involvement with social services (she was meeting with them a hour before meeting with us over whether or not she will put her son in a group home). I told my assistant that his mother most likely had a really draining morning and that we will not be bringing anything up until she does, as I want to make sure that she is comfortable sharing her decision. After all it is not our business until the mother or social worker decides to share it with us. My assistant was upset with me but new better than to go against my wishes.:whistle:
     
  9. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Oct 11, 2011

    Some teachers just don't get it. And my daughter doesn't have severe challenges!

    But then again, some teachers don't realize the importance of family time and how children can learn something on a family vacation.
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 11, 2011

    It is draining. Hands down, my child is the easiest person for me to deal with. It's having to constantly deal with the other support people in his life from medical to school and even social workers that is draining. We have no privacy. I'm constantly asked to trust professionals. Trust at this point is earned, not given. If you can't understand that, too bad. I have the privilege of worrying everyday. It takes courage to let go.

    You did the right thing Proud. The mother likely needs time to process it on her own and she'll share when and if she is ready to.

    Mostly, let's not forget that each child is an individual.
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Oct 11, 2011

    Many hugs, Cut.
     
  12. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Oct 11, 2011

    It is also difficult being the one who the IEP meeting is for.
     
  13. sunbeachgirl

    sunbeachgirl Rookie

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    Oct 11, 2011

    As a new Special Ed teacher, can you please tell me what teachers can do differently to help and support your child?

    I often feel like parents think I'm not doing enough, and yet I can't imagine how I could do more!
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    The single most important thing you can do is be sincere and communicate often about THEIR child. Make sure you share positives and the positives are backed with stories, anecdotes, ways the child has successfully applied something you worked on, etc. Don't overwhelm parents, but let them see your obvious care and a glimpse into your classroom a bit. Listen. You may have to differentiate your approach with the parents just as much as you do your students. Parents come with history. Listen to what they say and learn from it. Give them space when they need it. Give them details when they need it. If something makes them anxious, address it. If something pleases them, do more of it, especially if it is in your realm to do so. I know it sounds a bit catering, but it is really just about showing care and respect. Honestly, the more I get the vibe that you genuinely care about my child AS AN INDIVIDUAL and really care about my child's successes, the more I am willing to forgive the little things that might otherwise irritate me. The more you listen to me and respect my take on things, the more I want to listen to yours. The trick really is to be genuinely interested in both the children and their parents. In other words, realize that it is a humanistic process as much as it is an educational or professional one.

    Oh, and recognize that parents are nervous every year in the beginning because it is another change they have to go through and another person they have to trust. Work on building that rapport early. It will go a long way in easing their concerns and building trust.
     
  15. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Recognize that your students' parents are the expert on their children. They might not have a background in education, child development, or teaching students with special needs, but when it comes to the children as a whole, the parents are the experts. Listen to what they have to say, share your own observations and work together as equals with a common goal (the success of the children).
     
  16. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Absolutely. It's hard enough to start over every year and go through the growing/learning process yet again every year. When things can be avoided and it wasn't because the professionals weren't listening, it's heartbreaking because your child had to pay for unnecessary growing spurts. If it is something that you feel could use a different approach, discuss it first. You might learn the reason behind the tip that you weren't otherwise aware of if you just ask and just as their might be another solution at hand you might not have originally thought about.
     
  17. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Oct 12, 2011

    Very very well said. If I know that someone can see the positive in my child as well as what he needs to work on, I'm much more comfortable with that person. Oftentimes people only look at the negative and what he "can't do that he's supposed to be doing" and that hurts. I want to know people can see what he does well as well as what he needs to work on and then I know that that person has a balanced view of my child.
     

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