Successful Communication Tips

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by cutNglue, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Sep 4, 2006
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    Oct 17, 2011

    This year's team for my son who has behavior challenges is sketchy at best. When I do receive communication, it lacks all the necessary components. Yesterday I had to smile because I received communication from the Gen Ed teacher and the SPED teacher on the exact same situation. If I put them both together, they had all the necessary components. Alone, they were missing too many details that was needed. That's frustrating as a parent. Given that I know that my fellow co-workers also had this challenge, I am opening a thread to share tips.

    My Philosophy

    Parents with special needs children need frequent positive communication early and ongoing. Heap on them positive emails so that parents see your passion and know you LIKE and recognize their child as an individual. The teacher that taught me this was for my other son and he only had one not so good report home the entire year. She did this with her entire class. As a special educator and as a parent with a child with special needs, I have taken this lesson and realize how even more important it is in this domain. It helps build a wall of trust. Whether we like it or not, parents come with a history and they don't exactly start over just because we want wish for it.

    Now the necessary components of an email that describes a behavior or incident:

    * Situation-Factually
    * Triggers-If known
    * Strategies You Tried
    * Resolution or Outcome
    * Any Follow Up that was Implemented
    * A Plan of Action (if it is ongoing, severe or might happen again)
    * Communication Between My Child and Staff (Specific details if pertinent or a general description of the topic/why; does not include the confidential communication)

    Types of Positive Emails

    * General/nonspecific (weakest so use sparingly)
    * Situational/Anecdotes
    * Strategies the Student has Successfully Applied (such as behavioral strategies that were taught and applied, successful outcomes to a problem that was presented and problem solved, or progress a student showed that day)
    * Progress (be specific, share the past and present)

    Be specific in your praise. Use details. Share what strategies you are using to help the student and the outcome. Even if it is a negative but a reoccurring problem, tell the parent what has been tried already.

    The communication that is most helpful are the ones that show me both my child and the teacher's involvement in the scenario. The exception is if it is an anecdotes that isn't related to targeted goals or reoccurring issues.

    Any tips you can share?
  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Aug 8, 2005
    Likes Received:

    Oct 18, 2011

    This is wonderful, cut. I have some thoughts to share, but don't have time this morning (too much time sending a long PM :D)
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

    Aug 15, 2010
    Likes Received:

    Oct 18, 2011

    If you do need to send home an email or call home about a negative behavior, start with something positive that the student has done recently. Then end on a positive note, have a plan in place or one ready to start.

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