In previous posts, we have talked about what classroom integration is, examples of classroom integration, collaborative consultation, and natural environments. In part 5 of this discussion on school-based practice, we take on another factor that influences successful classroom integration of related services: parent perception.
Parents are experts on their own children, and are key members of the IEP team. As such, it is very important that the relationships between therapists and families are mutually trusting and respectful. Maintaining open communication is a way to form and maintain a relationship with parents.
Some resources for supporting communication
The website, Children’s Progress, has a great article titled “8 Tips for a Great Parent Communication Plan,” which has some clear, concrete strategies for working with all parents.
Scholastic has published an article titled “Communicating with Parents in Picture”s that has a great idea for adding visuals to increase engagement with a classroom news letter. As a related services therapist, we could use pictures to communicate with parents as well. Speech and language therapists could video tape or photograph correct placement of teeth or tongue for clear articulation. Physical therapists might share a visual of the student’s exercise program. And occupational therapists could share a photograph of a completed project! For more ideas, a previous blog post discusses using photographs to support therapy sessions.
Parent Communication Logs
Logs and communication books are one means of maintaining consistent communication between home and school. In some classrooms, therapists may provide their input with other staff in one joint notebook. For others, using a separate form may be more convenient. There are many great options for logs and parent contact forms, and we have shared them below.
Parent Communication Form Sample – Non-discipline specific, free download with Teachers Pay Teachers registration, This form requests initial background information and provides a way for the services provider to log ongoing communication.
Beginning of the Year – Related Services Parent Letter and Interview – Specific to related services, at cost download with Teachers Pay Teachers registration. This form requests annual background information and provides the parent with information about therapy services.
Super Speech Heroes–To the Rescue! Teacher Notes and Parent Communication Logs – Specific to speech and language therapy – articulation needs, at cost download with Teachers Pay Teachers registration. This document provides instruction, cues, and parent and teacher communication forms.
Speech Therapy Session Notes – quickly and easily keep parents informed – Specific to speech and language therapy – free download with Teachers Pay Teachers registration. This form is a full-page, update on progress.
Also, a free occupational therapy session notes page is available through our blog! OT Communication Notes
The Parent’s Perspective
We would love to start a discussion with you about parents and their perspective. There are two great resources that we would love to talk about!
The first is from Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) titled” Inclusion: A Journal So Far: Lessons Learned”. This short article, written by a parent of a child with autism, talks about how inclusion has impacted her child, as well as 4 components that she believes are key to success with inclusion.
The second is a longer article, titled “Signs of an Inclusive School: A Parent’s Perspective on the Meaning and Value of Authentic Inclusion“. This article is also written by a parent of a child with special needs and asks many very relevant and interesting questions that should be asked about inclusion, including its potential benefits and challenges.
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