Reponse 6

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Guided Response: Review the posts of your classmates and that of your Instructor. Respond to at least two peers whose role was different from your own.In the role of the parents, address the suggestions of the lead special educator by asking relevant questions, disputing what was recommended or expounding on what was written using supporting evidence from the assigned readings and independent research. Be sure to keep in mind suggestions from the Week Five article regarding parent-school conflict to improve communication and build relationship

The response is for the following

Response one.

Diana Zimmerman

 

When I think of the IEP program and the last ten years, I’ve delt with them as a parent, my head feels like it is going to explode.  I personally never feel heard, or I get (in my opinion) unrealistic answers.  I feel like I do not have a voice.  When in Arizona, I would receive a packet of information before every meeting, I started refusing it after a bit, because all the information was the same.  It was not until I started talking to another mom who knew my struggles and pointed me in a new direction.  I later found this group within all those packets as a resource for parents.  I wish we had something like that her in the Knoxville area.  The nonprofit group was called “pilot parents”. 

Tomorrow, I go to where my oldest son is.  He is currently in a residential facility for some behaviors that were unknown to us at the time.  I am not satisfied with his education at this facility, and they know it.  The communication is nil and it is like pulling teeth to get anything out of them.  I hear a lot of excuses because they are not a regular school, and I feel this is inappropriate as well.  So, we will see how this IEP goes for tomorrow now that we have a new psychological report and a new FSIQ score. 

After reading the articles, I would love to have a family group that is a wealth of information for other families.  If we can share with each other and not feel embarrassed by our struggles, I feel that would be a great weight lifted off some parent’s shoulders.  I know from experience, I do not go out and do sports with my kids and do a lot of fun things because of behaviors and sensory issues, but if we had a way to support each other things could be different I feel.  Secondly, I would recommend more communication requirements.  I do not personally feel that communication has been up to par the way that our text has shared.  The 5-point plan states “communicate consistently, listen to families’ concerns, and work together” (Edwards, C. C., & Da Fonte, A. (2012).  Communication is so important, not only with colleagues, but your students families as well.  I am constantly in contact with my son’s therapist, via text and phone calls.  I wish his teacher were the same way.  All I hear is “Mrs. Hannah is pissing me off”, “she is so unfair”, “she doesn’t care”.  When I call to talk about things, I get told I will get a call back after school.  I am a pushy mom, but I want what is best for my child while he is in my custody or not.  Lastly, I really liked the principle from Special Education Professional Ethical Principles: “Maintaining challenging expectations for individuals with exceptionalities to develop the highest possible learning outcome and quality of life potential in ways that respect their dignity, culture, language, and background.”  I would like to see more built upon this principle within our school systems.  I am at that transitional stage with my 14-year-old who is an 8th grader and going into 9th next year.  With and FSIQ of 67, I need to look to the future and better prepare for him.  Currently and in the past because he was not thriving, it felt as if we were pushed under a rug.  I wish parents did not have to feel that way.  There needs to be ways to get through to students early on.  In several classes back, even in my bachelors’ program under the psychiatric area, I learned about the Waldorf schools.  I wish all our schools worked like the Waldorf education.  Find something that fascinates your student and use that to teach and educate them.   

What would you consider doing to make maintaining challenging expectations a reality?

Edwards, C. C., & Da Fonte, A. (2012).  The 5-Point Plan Teaching Exceptional Children, 44(3), 6-13.

Council for Exceptional Children. (2015).  Special education professional ethical principles and practice standards (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www.cec.sped.org/Standards/Ethical-Principles-and-Practice-Standards

Response 2

Andy Webb 

Hello I am Ms. Webb, the lead special education teacher. I am very saddened by hearing about the way you felt during your IEP. It is my job to not only make sure the process is enjoyable and knowledgeable when in an IEP meeting, I would like to create an improved system where the parent feels they are heard. During all IEP meetings everyone on the team strives to provide an ethical and professional experience, that is regulated by the CEC, so that an adequate education plan can be created. Nevertheless, I still sincerely apologize if we have ever made you feel nervous, unprepared, or overwhelmed. I myself was once in the same seat you all are in. From experience I know things tend to move fast from the time of diagnosis, and as a member of his IEP team we would like to improve on your previous meeting. The first suggestion I have is effective communication. Effective communication is important for everyone on the team to have, it is needed to discuss barriers, goals, and other things that may arise. Also communicating effectively as a staff member and you all as a parent, we can gain a clear understanding of one another. The second suggestion I propose is respect, as a team we never want you to feel that you weren’t heard or respected in a meeting. Lastly, and most importantly I suggest a comfortable environment. A comfortable environment would be one where you the parents are relaxed and comfortable. According to IDEA an IEP does not have to be conducted at a school, for instance it can be a library or even a video meeting, whichever fits the parents best. I hope these suggestions will serve us all some good at the next meeting, again we are all working towards the same common goal and want what is best for your child.

 

Sincerely

Response 3

Molly Vance

As the special educator, I have been asked to create an improved meeting experience for the parent that is participating in an IEP meeting. As a special educator, I need to make sure that the parent feels welcomed and heard. We need to have a strong relationship to allow their student to be successful and make growth towards their goals.

 

Following the 5-point plan will help teachers to effectively communicate and collaborate with the parents/families of the student who is being identified as having a disability. During our IEP meetings, we must remain positive, proactive, and have a solution that we are working towards. We need to work towards focusing on strengths and accomplishments. This alone will allow the parents to feel a positive vibe about the IEP meeting. Teachers can be proactive before our meeting is even started by gaining insight from the parents and other family members. Find out what the student likes, areas of need, what has worked for their child in the past, and all of the other information that would be useful to teachers to help their child.  Teachers must respect families’ roles in their child’s lives. Teachers and parents do not have the same role in the child’s life. Parents are capable of providing the teachers with information about their child that we would never know if it wasn’t for them. We must show the parents that we care about their input and that their input is truly valued and important. We as a team will use what the parents have to help develop our IEP for their child. Teachers need to make sure that they communicate consistently and listen to the concerns of the parents. To ensure that the parents feel a part of the process, we need to create a family-oriented focus so that they know we are listening to their concerns, understand the areas they feel are important, and are able to address their concerns with daily or weekly notes.  Teachers and parents need to ensure they are working together in the best interest of the student. To ensure that families feel as if they have an input into the process, teachers should take in the parent’s requests for accommodations and/or supports that they feel their child will need in order to be successful. Families need to be empowered with knowledge and involvement in their child’s needs. The supports that we provide for the student needs to be simple, natural supports that meeting their particular needs. We need to ensure that the parents know they are able to have access to their child’s information when requested and know what supports are put into place for their child.

 

To improve the experience for parents of newly diagnosed student with a disability, we can do a lot of things.  One of the biggest things that we can do as educators to help parents experience a successful first meeting is to include them in the process from the start. Get them to discuss what they see needs to happen for their child to be successful. Get the parents to think about the issues/concerns that need to be addressed a head of time so they aren’t put on the spot during the IEP meeting. The atmosphere of the meeting has to be welcoming, encouraging, and uplifting. This is another way that we could improve that first experience for those parents. The third thing that we could do as educators is to use terms and language that the parent will understand so that they don’t leave the meeting with a lot of unknowns or with information that they are unable to understand.

Resources

Council for Exceptional Children. (2015).  Special education professional ethical principles and practice standards (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://www.cec.sped.org/Standards/Ethical-Principles-and-Practice-Standards

Edwards, C. C., & Da Fonte, A. (2012).  The 5-Point Plan Teaching Exceptional Children, 44(3), 6-13.

Wellner, L. (2012).  Building parent trust in the special education setting. Leadership, 16-19 (Links to an external site.) . Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ971412.pdf

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