Parents of special needs children What parents need special educators to know about teaching our children and working with us as parents:

We as parents of special needs children need to work as a single unit, with the special educators who are teaching our children. Keep in touch with your Childs teacher, and be a part of their life at school.

Here are a some things that parents would like special educators to know:

  • I am an expert on my child
  • We as parents realise the expertise in education that any special educator has, and they can tell us a lot about how our child learns, behaves and interacts in a classroom. But please also realise that I have spent everyday of my Childs life with him, I know his development backwards, and I have seen him many different situations and environments. Please don't suggest that you know him better than I do, and listen to my concerns and suggestions, so that we can work together to my child what he needs.What parents need is understanding.

  • I respect your expertise
  • If you are wondering how teachers have dealt with my child in the past, it is all in their files, you can call or ask around, send emails, or you can just ask me! We have been working with special educators, and observing their techniques for as long as our child has been in school, and we have talked and discussed what works and what doesn’t. Listen to our suggestions, as they are based on collective wisdom of past teachers. Use us, thereby allowing us to be useful to the teachers our children will have in the future.

  • Homework can be difficult
  • We do understand that homework will reinforce the skills learnt during the day, but for a special needs child who has been concentrating all day at school may find it hard to refocus for on work at home. Our children might also have therapy sessions or doctors appointments, that which up a lot of time after school. Work with your special educator to establish a homework schedule that works for them, you and your child. - and strategies for making sure that the home work gets done and handed in.

  • Communication is important
    Our children cannot always be relied on to bring accurate information home, and there may be things happening at home that are important for the special educator to know about. Find an easy way to communicate with your Childs teacher, wether it is through a note book, email address or personal telephone number. Please understand that we will not abuse this privilege, but so many misunderstandings can be prevented if we communicate with our special educators directly, instead of relying on our children to act as go-betweens.

  • Stresses of the day
  • Often when our children have had a stressful day, it comes out in tantrums at home. We are okay with this, as it's better for this to happen at home, in a safe environment, rather than at school. We would like to know what the problems have occurred during the day, so that we can deal with frustrations and failures. We are going to be dealing with them one way or the other, and the more information we have, the more constructively we can help our children.

  • Grieving
  • We may be, or we may not be grieving for our children's lost potential. Either way, please don't dismiss our demands for services or progress, as driven by our sorrow over the children’s shortcomings. Like all parents we are motivated to get the best for our special needs child, the same as any other parent. We may disagree on what that is, or how much the school is willing to help, to get us there. We are not looking for sympathy; we need the respect, help and inspiration of our special educator, the same that you want for your child whatever his abilities.What parents need is compassion.

  • This is our reality
  • This is our life. Our child’s education is only important to you for the year, that you are his educator. We will always be grateful for the work that you do and changes that you may bring about. Please understand why we fight for what we think is right, because the choices we make will affect our children’s lives and ours, and that is why we need you to listen. As our child’s special educator we will listen to you as well, and take your views into serious consideration. But as the largest stake holder in our child’s life, we need to have the loudest voice.

  • I am a fighter
  • We will always fight for our children, but instead of fighting with you as our child’s special educator, we would like to work with you and for you. We would like to now if you are not getting the support from the school board, if you need supplies or help with organising school functions or fund raisers. There is so much we can do for special needs education and special needs children if we just work together.What parents need is involvement.

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