Final SPED 421 – Fall 2016                                                                 

Outline how schools and educators may achieve the goal of being a responsive school.

Benefits of Family Member Knowledge:  Parents possess a greater depth of knowledge about this child than any other team or person does, since they spend so much time with the child.Support For The Family:  “Educating the family about the behavioral intervention plans and involving them in the process of development allows families to experience reduced stress as the BIP is managed in the home and at school.” (Fielder, p. 234).Perceptual Differences of Children’s Behavior:  The family may have a different perspective on their child’s behavior than the school.  Families as Supports For School Personnel:  “Family members with their multiple deep and broad understandings of their child’s behavioral patterns can be a source of assistance in determining the best intervention to use with a student.” (Fielder, p.235)Benefits For Children:  “When families are involved in the team that supports their child, they are empowered and are more likely to follow through and feel responsibility for both home and school goals.  Children whose families and school team have been collaborative and created a supported environment have greater gains in behavioral and other areas of functioning.” (Fielder, p. 235)Preparing the Behavioral Intervention Plan:  A process that involves collecting historical and background data, determine the target behavior, make direct observations, generate a hypothesis, verify the hypothesis, including the function of the behavior, do the behavioral intervention plan by creating a functional behavioral analyses, Write the BIP, Review and approve the BIP.Provide Educational Support Services To Enhance Family Participation In Developing Positive Behavioral Interventions:  Cohesive Support Services: “IEP team members from the school may include the student, student’s family members, general education teacher, special education teacher, speech and language therapist, child psychiatrist, or psychiatric social worker, health care providers community counselors, and social services personnel.” (Fielder, 243)Professional Preparation for Offering Educational Support Services:  School professionals have the responsibility to be prepared and act as a knowledgeable resource for families, keep abreast of research, be aware of local resources, develop a rapport with community supports for families and children. Considerations for Providing Educational Support Services:  Consider the meeting space and the comfort of the family. Provide opportunities for all members to make contributions.  Adhere to time limits and after the meeting send out a summary of the meeting.   Assessing Families Needs and Readiness for Educational Support Services:  “The type and amount of educational support needed or desired by families whose children present challenging behavior cannot be predetermined.  The services offered by the school must be individualized, based on the families, components, including values, goals, preferences, resources, routines, traditions, and activity patterns.  These components are greatly determined by the family’s ethnic cultural, and religious beliefs.” (Fielder, p. 244).Additude:  the biggest support for families is for the teacher to share hope, being positive and demonstrating care for their child. 


PARENTS ARE ALL THESE ROLES IN THIS CHARTCase ManagerOversea all educational health and related services for the purpose of communicating for their child with a disability.
Medical ExpertUnderstanding medical issues with a child and his/her disability
AdvocateSpeaking out in the best interest of his or her child
Inclusion SpecialistEnsuring that his or her child is included in typical classroom activities and daily routines.
Transition SpecialistCreating continuity by easing the transition between teachers, grades, schools.
This is why communication with the parent and or guardian is important and necessary through notes home, email, or regular daily communication logs showing behavior or student, showing on task, work completion, and any other communication

Family Centered Programs

Family increases academic achievement, as reflected in higher test scores and graduation rates, and further improves the likelihood that students will go on to pursue higher education.Parent involvement is defined in the No Child Left Behind NCLB law as the participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities.Family involvement brings diversity to the classroom, since “diverse families bring to their communities a rich variety of perspectives, traditions, and educational levels.” (peabody)When there are family centered programs, that the family is involved in all the above can be accomplished.

Understand Cultural Differences

The families from different cultures can be helped and understood by, researching the different culture to learn their view how it vies disabilities.  Learn about the individual families values and their expectations and priorities for their child’s educational needs. Recognize there are differences, and accommodate the family within their cultural preferences, along with using no judgement toward the family.  

 How can you as a Special Education teacher support a family’s access to community resources?  Why is this important?

I will use the tool of empowerment:Empowerment as Philosophy for the Family.According to (Overton, p.24),  “Empowerment is an ideology with guiding principles and beliefs that stress the strengths and capabilities of all individuals, the value of diversity, and the best strategies for enhancing in promoting competence.”     This is the value a family gives to an individual and especially a person with a disability.  The family gives guiding principles and beliefs to all individuals and especially those with a disability.  If the family is practical in their belief, they will instill this in their child with a disability. If the family has active addictions of any kind, the person with a disability will or maybe have a genetic trait to pick up some kind of addiction for dealing with their disability.  However, as with all addictions, these need to be addressed and monitored to not take over a person’s life, and this will include a person with a disability.     I will also have several community resources available for the family to contact so they can be their own advocate.  This is important so they stand up for their own family members, and they learn in the process of providing for their child with a disability.  They learn more about the disability and may come across more information than I could provide that will help them, or direct them in the direction they need to go.

 What did you learn in this course that has altered your view of working with families?

Use the 5 point plan:
Point 1 Be positive, Proactive, solution oriented.Point 2 Respect families roles and cultural backgrounds in their children’s lives.Point 3 Communicate consistently, listen to families concerns and work together.Point 4  Consider simple, natural supports that meet individuals needs of students.Point 5  Empower families with knowledge and opportunities for involvement in the context of students global needs.

  How can siblings of children with disabilities be supported?

Teach the siblings of children with disabilities empowerment so they will feel support:
  Empowerment as Process for the Family.I was just reading the recent Sept 2016 National Geographic Magazine, where they have an extensive article with beautiful heartwarming pictures of refugee families, who have moved to Germany.  They are pictured all together, and you can see their partnership of family in that photo. You can see these families build one another up and strengthen each other through their daily life, and especially if they have a child with a disability.  In Overton, says, “the dimension of empowerment stresses the interpersonal relationships inherent in effective helping styles, such as reciprocity, open communication, mutual trust and respect, shared responsibility, and cooperation.” (p.24). Overton also states, “Every person has unmet potential and dreams or moments that serve as snapshots of a better self.  We grow when this potential is nurtured. When people feel good about themselves and can recognize their strengths, they can utilize these strengths to grow. Respect and affirmation of our efforts fuels growth. The term empowerment has come to define this growth.” (p.24)  Overton states Empowerment as Process “Although the process of becoming empowered may vary greatly, it is influenced by the opportunities and conditions that support and strengthen family function.” (p.24).  This is very true, in that, if you have one person in the family who is in active addiction, then this affects, the entire family balance.      “The support of family members is vital to the success of inclusion programs.Families of children with disabilities may feel that inclusion:* fosters the academic achievement of their children;* provides their children with increased friendships;* gives their children greater access to positive role models;* offers their children a more challenging curriculum;* prepares their children for the real world;* improves their children’s self-concept, and language and motor skills;* increases the sensitivity of children without disabilities;* results in a loss of individualized accommodations, curricula, and services for their children;* places their children at risk of being ridiculed; and* lowers the self-esteem of their children.”Salend, S. J. (2006).  Explaining your inclusion program to families. Teaching Children, 38(4), 6-11.

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:Kat: K. M. M.Ed

Author, Artist, Philosopher.

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