In the previous post we discussed the potential for parents to feel sacked by their IEP team. In fact, when talking to parent groups, the topic of IEP’s usually gathers a collective sigh. Here are some things you can consider in order to gain credibility as a legitimate member, and even leader, of your child’s treatment team.
- Focus on relationships: The strength of your child’s relationships sets the foundation for growth. Building relationships with your child’s treatment team will set the tone for making this a priority for everyone.
- Become the “expert” on your own child: With the help of your child’s therapists, learn as much as you can about his/her unique processing profile. We all learn and interact through our senses, find out how your child processes information from the OT, PT, Speech therapist, and developmental specialist. It may occasionally be beneficial to seek private evaluations in order to have “checks and balances” to school programming.
- Make use of developmental roadmaps: You can’t know where your child is going unless you have an understanding of where he needs to go. Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder describe the most user-friendly roadmap I have found in their book, Engaging Autism. I will describe the roadmap in a future post.
- Understand the meaning and underlying causes of challenging behaviors: You will need to guide the treatment team to have an appreciation for the context and reasons your child has challenging behaviors in order to properly address them.
- Connect with fellow parents and compassionate professionals for support. You are not alone.