Parents are a child’s first and best advocate and are there for the long haul. Parents who learn good communication skills can be even more effective.
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. Becoming a more effective advocate by enhancing your communication skills can be a great benefit to your child’s education.
- Advocating for Your Child Fact Sheet – English Family Matters- Michigan Department of Education
- Advocating for Your Child Fact Sheet – Arabic Family Matters- Michigan Department of Education
- Advocating for Your Child Fact Sheet – Spanish Family Matters- Michigan Department of Education
Being able to effectively communicate your child’s needs is another way for you to help your child develop and learn.
These are several resources from PACER Center available to prepare yourself for your child’s IEP meeting.
- Communication in The Special Education Process
- Communicate Using “Student Snapshot”
- Attending Meetings to Plan Your Child’s IEP
- Communicating About Services For Your Child
- How Can My Child Be Involved in the IEP Process?
- How You Can Help Your Child Learn to Be a Good Self-Advocate
- IEP 101 Michigan Alliance for Families
Key to clear communication with your child’s 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 paper trail – document your contact with the school – conversations, meetings and other events.
- Learning opportunities near you can also be found on the SEMSMichigan Alliance for Families calendar of events.
- Special Education Mediation Services (SEMS) offers training to learn collaborative communication and dispute resolution techniques that can help you be more effective in planning and decision making.