Effectively Communicate

 

Parents are a child’s best and longest lasting advocates. Parents with good communication skills can be even more effective advocates for their children.

Being able to effectively communicate your child’s needs is another way for you to help your child develop and learn.

Parent and professional communication and effective partnerships do not “just happen.” It takes time, energy, and effort to build skills to communicate clearly and collaborate effectively. You can decide to become a more effective advocate for your child and then take the necessary steps to achieve this goal. It’s worth the effort.

There are several online resources available to learn collaborative techniques.

Key to clear communication with your Early On® Service Coordinator , teachers, therapists, doctors and nurses is keeping all your papers organized! Most parents find it very helpful to organize before it becomes a mountain of paperwork.

If a dispute every comes up in the future, it will be very important for you to have established a papertrail –  document your contact with the school – conversations, meetings and other events.

Who do I talk to?

The State of Michigan has 57 Intermediate School Districts – (ISD) sometimes called Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESA), Educational Service Agencies (ESA), Regional Educational Service District (RESD) or Educational Service District (ESD). Each ISD has a Board of Education and a Superintendent, just like your local school district. The boundaries of an ISD follow county lines, some ISDs cover more than one county. Each county has  several school districts. Each school district has a Board  of Education and a Superintendent.

ISD’s have a role in delivering Early  Intervention services and Special Education services, starting at birth and  continuing until age 26 years.  By contacting the ISD you may be able to  reach:

  • Early On Coordinator
  • Director of Early Childhood Programs
  • Director of Special Education

Typically, school districts provide education  starting in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Some school  districts also offer preschool programs. Your local school district’s  administrative offices can be helpful in contacting your local Special Education  supervisor.

Skills for Effective Parent Advocacy – from the Michigan Alliance for Families Webinar Series

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