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(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Chapter Three Home-School Collaboration: Working with Families This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of any images; any rental, lease, or lending of the program.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Introduction Prior to PL 94-142, many schools did not encourage parents of children with special needs to participate in the education of their children. Federal law established the role of parents of students with special needs through the passage of PL 94-142.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 IDEA Requirements for Parental Involvement Involve parents in decision-making activities. Inform parents of impending actions. Provide parents with information in a form they can readily understand. Make available due process rights to parents. Enable parents to request a due-process hearing if there is a disagreement that cannot be resolved with school personnel.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Definition of Family Support Family support is an intervention model that provides services for the entire family of a child who has a disability.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Six Categories of Family Support Principles Enhancing a Sense of Community Mobilizing Resources and Supports Protecting Family Integrity Strengthening Family Functioning Shared Responsibility and Collaboration Proactive Human Service Practices
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Areas in Which Family Participation Should Occur Student Assessment IEP Involvement with Parent Groups Observation in the School Setting Communication with Educators
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 What is a Family? Traditional View: - A family is a group of individuals who live together including a mother, a father, and one or more children Contemporary View: This view recognizes that numerous family arrangements exist.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Cultural Considerations Teachers must be sensitive to the background of their students to ensure that cultural differences do not interfere with school-family relationships. School personnel should also put aside preconceived notions about various lifestyles. A family systems perspective is needed to enhance a child’s educational program.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Families and Children with Disabilities The arrival of a child results in changes in family structure and dynamics; the arrival of a child with a disabilities exacerbates these challenges. In addition to financial and emotional issues, other critical problems facing families include: Expensive medical treatment Expensive equipment Recurring crisis situations Stress on marriages Limited respite care services
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Various Reactions Families May Have When Learning Their Child Has a Disability Denial Anger Grief Fear Guilt Confusion Powerlessness Disappointment Acceptance Although these reactions are common ones, school personnel should keep in mind that parents are very different in the ways they respond when learning that their child has a disability.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Stage Theory Approach to Parental Reactions Parental responses to learning that their child has a disability rarely follow any formal stage process.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 How School Staff Can Help Parents Be aware of the reactions parents may have when they learn their child has a disability. Help parents understand the nature and needs of their child’s disability.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 What Parents Want and Need from School Professionals To communicate without jargon or to have terms explained To have conferences scheduled to enable both parents to attend To receive written materials that provide information that will assist them in understanding their child’s problems
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 What Parents Want and Need from School Professionals To receive a copy of a written report about their child To receive specific advice on how to manage the specific behavior problems of their child or how to teach them needed skills To receive information regarding their child’s social as well as academic behavior
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Parents’ Views on Inclusion Some parents (e.g., Learning Disabilities Association) have remained cautious about inclusion. Other parents (e.g., the Arc) have actively favored inclusion. Teachers should be sensitive to the fact that parents may have quite different views regarding inclusive practices.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Involvement of Fathers The involvement of the entire family should be the primary goal. Often, the father is left out of the planning process. Children often do better in school if fathers are involved.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Involvement of Siblings Siblings are important in developing and implementing educational programs. Some siblings may experience adjustment problems related to their sibling’s disability.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Needs of Siblings Need for information about their sibling’s disability Need to address feelings of isolation Need to address feelings of guilt Need to address feelings of resentment Need to address perceived pressure to achieve Need to address caregiving demands Need to address their role in their sibling’s future
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Needs of Siblings Sibling Support Groups can be helpful. Additional Suggestions: Inform siblings about the nature and cause of the disability. Involve siblings in conferences with school personnel. Openly discuss the disability with all family members.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Parent Education Parent education classes may be very helpful. Seeing that other parents face similar challenges can be comforting and empowering.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Home-School Collaboration School personnel should: Be actively involved with families/parents. Recognize that parents vary tremendously in knowledge and expertise Consider parental advice; parents know their children very well
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Communicating with Parents Many teachers are not prepared to work with parents. Poor communication may cause many problems that could be avoided.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Principles of Effective Communication Accept Listen Question Encourage Stay directed Develop an alliance Avoid defensiveness Effective communication must be regular and useful.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Types of School-Home Communication Informal Exchanges Parent Observations Telephone Calls Written Notes Home Visits Formal Meetings
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Types of Formal Meetings IEP Meetings IFSP Meetings Individual Transition Plan Meetings Behavior Intervention Plan Meetings
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 IEP Meetings Reasons why parents need to be involved in IEP meetings: IDEA requires it. Most importantly, the input of parents is critical.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 IEP Meetings: Helpful Hints Hold conferences in a small location free from distraction. Start conferences on time and maintain the schedule. Arrange the schedule so that participants are comfortable. Present information clearly, concisely, and in a way parents can understand.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 IFSP Meetings Agencies serving young children with disabilities must develop an Individual Family Service Plan as required by PL 994-457. This requirement is based on the assumption that families cannot be effective in a child’s intervention program if their own needs are not being met. The IFSP takes family needs (e.g., respite care, transportation) into consideration and provides strategies that can address some of the family needs while providing services to their child.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Mediation Conflicts between school personnel and parents are inevitable at times. A helpful procedure that many states and local education agencies use to resolve these conflicts is mediation. In mediation, both parties share their concerns and work to develop a mutually- agreeable solution, typically through the facilitation of a third party.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Cross-Cultural Suggestions for Teachers Identify the cultural values that influence your own interpretation of a student’s needs. Find out if the family recognizes and values your assumptions. Acknowledge and give explicit respect to cultural differences. Determine the most effective ways of adapting your professional recommendations to the family’s value system.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 What Do Parents Want? What Parents Want for Their Children… Personal and Social Adjustment Accommodations and Adaptations Responsibility and Independence Academic and Functional Literacy Supportive Environment What Parents Expect of Teachers… Personal Characteristics Accountability and Instructional Skills Management Skills Communication What Parents Expect of Schools… Responsibility and Independence Academic and Functional Literacy Supportive Environment
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Home-Based Interventions Families can become involved in the education of their child with a disability through home- based intervention. For preschool children, involvement is fairly common. For older students, parents typically are less involved. Ways Parents and Other Family Members Can Get Involved: Providing Reinforcement Providing Direct Instructional Support Providing Homework Support
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Providing Reinforcement and Encouragement The failure cycle of students with disabilities is difficult to break. Reinforcing success is an important strategy to interrupt this failure cycle. In contrast to school personnel, parents are in an excellent position to provide reinforcement in areas such as: Toys Money Friends Trips
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Examples of Home-School Contingencies Daily Report Cards Passports
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Providing Instructional Support for Older Children Students may need more assistance at home as they progress through the grades. Older children may resist parental attempts to assist. Parents should endeavor, however, to remain involved at an appropriate level with their older children.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Reasons for Expanding the Role of Parents in Educating their Children Parents are the first and most important teachers of their children. The home is the child’s first schoolhouse. Children will learn more during the early years than at any other time in life. All parents want to be good parents and care about their child’s development.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Home Tutoring Programs STEPS Step 1: Parents and teachers discuss the area in which home tutoring will be most helpful. Step 2: Family members implement home tutoring procedures. Step 3: Family members who provide tutoring use techniques for encouragement, reinforcement, and error correction. Step 4: Family members complete the tutoring session and make a record of the student’s accomplishments. LENGTH OF TIME Tutoring periods should be no longer than 15 minutes. USING A VISUAL CHART Use a visual chart so the child can see his or her progress.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Providing Homework Support Homework is often the most continually problematic area relative to home-school collaboration. Often homework issues are plagued by communication problems between home and school, particularly when failure becomes evident. Types of communication problems reported by general education teachers: Lack of follow-through by parents Lateness of communication Lack of importance placed on homework Parental defensiveness Denial of problems
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Homework Recommendations General educators and parents need to take an active role in monitoring and communicating with students about homework. Schools should provide teachers with the time needed to engage in regular communication with parents and provide students with increased opportunities to complete homework after school. Teachers need to take advantage of technological innovations such as homework hotlines, computerized student progress records. Students need to be held responsible for keeping up with their homework.
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Components of One Successful Homework Program (Callahan et al., 1998) Parent Training Sessions Student Training Systematic Homework Procedures Self-Management Strategies Home- and School-Based Positive Reinforcement Programs
(c) Allyn & Bacon 2004Copyright © Allyn and Bacon 2004 Important Considerations for Teachers Sometimes even the best of parents fail at their daily responsibilities to check their child’s homework. Homework may be a low priority for families when compared with other issues (e.g., family illness, school attendance).
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