This post concludes the review of Parents and Professionals Partnering for Children with Disabilities. The final chapter is remarkably short, just as jam-packed with information as the previous 4 chapters were. This chapter talks about “partnership notes.”
When I worked in a school setting, we often would use a notebook back and forth to communicate to parents. This worked pretty well for classroom teachers, but for me, as the SLP, it was hard to add one more layer of note taking to each day. Last year, I took a different approach that worked pretty well. I set up a note that went out every other week. I identified a theme and an activity (or two) that we had worked on and that we would be working on. I added some target vocabulary words. Since I was working with 40 students, all in preK, goals and activities tended to be fairly similar so I could put together one note that was broad enough to communicate what we were doing in speech therapy.
The note would go home along with the work sample showing what we had done. Whenever possible, I would include a picture of the child engaged in the activity. Sometimes I combined this with “generic” pictures of the activities–pics that had no child identified so the child could see the activity and talk about it at home (and I could reduce the amount of work by sending home the generic pics rather than coordinating several pics to each child).
Now I work in early intervention doing parent coaching. In this context, I don’t need to send notes home because I see the parents each visit. This has made me rethink the note system. Recently, after reading this chapter, I started trying to incorporate text messages during the week–at least once a month–that are encouraging in nature or that remind the parent of a goal they set.
In the reflection part of this final chapter, the authors ask for a sample letter to a parent or professional sharing something you value about that person.
This is similar–identifying info removed–to a text I sent this week. I’ve set a goal for myself to send periodic encouragements to the families I work with and my coworkers as well. This final chapter gives several examples of types of information to include.
Overall, this book has been informative. I’ve shared it will colleagues and will be sharing it with some parents as well. There is a lot of good info here for parents and for professionals.
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