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Denyse Deslauriers BA, MA (Candidate) Early Childhood Consultant Ottawa Childrens Treatment Centre February 25, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Denyse Deslauriers BA, MA (Candidate) Early Childhood Consultant Ottawa Childrens Treatment Centre February 25, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Denyse Deslauriers BA, MA (Candidate) Early Childhood Consultant Ottawa Childrens Treatment Centre February 25, 2011

2 Agenda Introductions Relationships Definition of sensitive news Why sharing news is difficult for parents and ECEs How you tell makes a difference Strategies for sharing news Wrap up and questions

3 Relationships Mutual trust Dialogue Respect

4 The success of all types of interventions will rest on the quality of the relationships between professional providers and family members. (Kalmanson & Seligman, 1992, p. 46)

5 What does a quality relationship look like? Collaboration with families/Working together Being sensitive and responsive to families needs/concerns Self- awareness

6 What is sensitive news? Any information that causes a negative change to a persons expectations for their present and future (J. Olds, 2008)

7 Difficult for families Causes pain, hurt, distress Raises emotions Can cause a negative reaction

8 Difficult for Professionals Fear of being blamed Lack of confidence in skill set Fear of emotions

9 Ethics As professionals, it is our ethical responsibility to have the difficult discussion with the parent You are the best person to have the discussion because you know the child and the parent

10 T _________________________ E _________________________ L _________________________ Adapted from The Hanen Centre, A Module for Learning Language and Loving It, letters to remember when sharing news with parents

11 How You Tell Makes A Difference Plan Ahead Rapport Setting Message Persons Reaction

12 Rapport Establish mutual trust Emphasize positives as well as negatives Give specific examples Ensure consistent message among all providers involved Setting Plan a mutually convenient time Allow sufficient time for discussion Ensure location is private and respectful Eliminate distractions Message Be aware of purpose/goal of discussion and share that with family Have supporting documentation available, i.e. screen/checklist Reaction Consider how parents may react ahead of time and how you will respond Consider cultural differences, family stresses, parents values and priorities, and acceptance of any problem

13 Journey Of Acceptance: Stages of Coping Denial -Support & give information Resistance – Support & be there when things crash Affirmation – Provide appropriate information & resources Integration/Acceptance – Reinforce confidence in ability to manage


15 Sharing Sensitive news- An example Find the Bloopers o Teacher : Mr. Mrs …just before you go out, I want to talk to you for a moment. o Parent: I really need to get to work. Can we talk at another time? o Teacher: Well, this will just take a moment. I was wondering how you feel Vanessa is adjusting to child care? o Parent: I think she is doing fine. Why are you asking? o Teacher: Well I am glad youre feeling Vanessa has settled in OK. I agree with you that she certainly does seem pretty happy here. We do have some concerns.

16 Parent: Concerns? What do you mean exactly? Teacher: Well we think Vanessa has a speech problem and you really should have her assessed. Parent: A speech problem. What do you mean? Teacher: She isnt talking like the other little children. This is a big problem for us because we cant just understand what she wants when she whines and cries. It may be because you give in to this behavior at home. Parent: Whines and cries? I thought you said she was happy here. She has been here for two months now and I thought everything was fine. Teacher: Well, Vanessa is doing OK in some areas but we have been concerned for quite a while about her speech. We wanted to give her a chance to settle in before we spoke with you.

17 Parent: Well, I really dont know why Vanessa is acting like you say. At home, she is happy, and she actually uses quite a few words. Teacher: Well, we have not heard one word at school. Parent: Well, I am not making it up. (getting irritated) I thought her language was coming along pretty well. She has to have at least 30 words that she uses at home. Doesnt she communicate with you here? Teacher: Well, she does not say words. We think there is a problem and you need to have her assessed. Parent: Assessed where? And what will the assessment tell us? Teacher: I dont really know where. Ask your doctor. The assessment will tell us what the problem is. Parent: (with a frustrated,angry tone creeping into her voice) But I dont think there is a problem!

18 Reactions of parents & how you will respond Grief : Need to empathize and support without trying to take control – Its difficult to hear this news about someone whom you care so much about Inadequacy, vulnerability, confusion: Need to empathize – I imagine hearing all this information could be overwhelming. I know it will take time to take this all in and decided what you want to do. There are many support systems in the community that are available when you are ready.

19 Anger: Need to empathize & redirect. Parents may be very angry when they hear your information, and blame you for not adequately solving their problems. Anger may be covering underlying fear- I think it may be hard when someone tells you your child has a problem. Guilt: Need to educate- There was nothing that you did to cause these communication difficulties.

20 Stage of Acceptance (Can be cyclical) 1. Denial: Parents may be very surprised and deny that there is a problem. They may attribute Joshuas lack of interaction to the fact that he is just independent like other members of the family. You will need to educate the parents & describe further how the childs behavior is not the same as being independent and the impact of his behavior on his learning and development ( need to educate, not dispute)

21 Resistance: Parents accept the problem but feel they are going to be an exception. May be a secret wish to prove the professionals wrong. Need to support parents while they explore their options. Affirmation: Parents believe there is a problem & have confidence in their ability to deal with it. May become very involved in searching for information & linking up with different services. The problem may take over their lives, distracting them from other issues in their lives. Need to give parents time & space to work out these issues. Try to avoid power struggles.

22 Acceptance: Parents accept the problem & are able to place it into perspective with other issues in their lives. Feeling of Life goes onin the presence of this problem.- It sounds like you are ready to move ahead to discuss some options for how best we can help Joshua

23 Reflection How did you start? How did you introduce the sensitive information? How did your recipient react? How did you respond? How did you continue to share the information? How did you conclude?

24 Sharing the News Strategies 1. Observe, Wait, and Listen 2. Follow the Parents Lead Get the parents perspective and respond 3. Take Turns 4. Adjust Your Language 5. Extend the Topic Strive for agreement Explore possible solutions Agree on next steps 6. Scan

25 Observe, Wait and Listen Be comfortable and relaxed with sharing news Find out what parents know and want to know (collaborative) Watch for verbal and nonverbal cues Deliver a warning shot Adapted from The Hanen Centre, A Module for Learning Language and Loving It, 2009

26 Follow the parents lead Build on what the parent says Be caring and supportive – no blame Use active listening – respond to words and feelings

27 Take turns Start by establishing common interest/purpose Pause for parents perspective, reaction and questions Be curious Agree on problem and priorities before jumping to solution Brainstorm various options together Emphasize we, not I or you Leave final decision with parent Focus on informing, not disputing Remember: First seek to understand, then to be understood – Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

28 Adjust the way you talk Keep your opening statement brief Give a little information at a time Be clear, specific, and understandable Do not use jargon Provide visual and/or written material if available and appropriate

29 Extend the topic Inform Clarify the issue Share your observations Explain E.g. reasons for your concern and childs behaviour Talk about future Outline what happens next Arrange for resources and supports Set up follow up date

30 Scan Carefully observe reactions of all present for discussion Adapt your response to individual needs

31 What people value when receiving sensitive news Comfort, care and compassion Confident and knowledgeable explanations Opportunity to ask questions and have concerns addressed Follow up

32 It takes time… To absorb the information To incorporate the information into what was already known To sort through the emotions

33 Never assume Everything that was said was heard What was heard was understood What was understood has been integrated into other knowledge That the implications are clear and straightforward for the family

34 In conclusion …people may forget what you said, people may forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

35 Thank you! Questions?

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