Article Reflection For Module 7   SPED 421-Fall 2016           

Reference:   “Collaboration in Special Education: Parent Professional training, Whitebread, et. al Teaching Exceptional Children Mar/April 2007

     The Article talked about the training of parents for the child with a disability and was well presented, with useful, practical, relevant points which can be used again in this 2016 year, ten years after the article was written.

       The article opens with a verbal picture of an IEP meeting and the mother listening to her daughter’s teacher informing the mother of her daughter non performance and the mother reflects back to how busy she is taking care of another child:  The “speech therapist while he discussed his report. Did he say that Ivy needed to work on social pragmatic skills? Mrs. Harrison did not realize that Ivy was having social problems. She seemed fine at home. While Mrs. Harrison pondered this new and worrisome Information, she realized that Mrs. Jennings, Ivy’s teacher, was asking her a question: Did she realize that Ivy had not been handing in her reading homework?“ (Whitebread, p.6 10/11/2016)

      Later that day, the teacher reflected back, to where “She had sent a note home with Ivy the previous week, but Mrs. Harrison never replied, Mrs. Jennings had spent hours researching reading strategies that could help Ivy build her decoding skills, but Mrs. Harrison did not seem interested in hearing about them at the meeting. Of course. Mrs. Harrison did find time to call after the meeting was over and complain that Ivy’s homework needed modification. The homework was indeed too difficult for Ivy,“  (Whitebread p.6 10/11/2016)

      Both the teacher and the parent have not established good communication and misunderstandings have formed for both the parent and the teacher and this hinders the student.  Sounds as though resentments on both sides are beginning to form along with expectations of what the other needs to be doing for that student.


Educate parents and professionals about the SPED process at school.  This is a 9 hour course taken over several weeks, after school to more than 1, 300 parents and educators in Connecticut.  The project was successful and applied “Parents of children with disabilities are in a unique position to become involved in their children’s education and to develop partnerships with educators. In fact, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act IIDEA; 2004) requires a high level of parental involvement” (Whitebread, p. 6-7)

The training module went over SPED process, Laws, Mock IEP meeting, philosophy or person, Family School partnership and how helpful all these processes work together to have a successful educational outcome for the student with a disability.


Four modules were used to train the parents and educators as taken from (Whitebread, p.8)

Module 1: Steps in the Special Education Process. This module walks participants through each step of the special education process, from the referral to creating and monitoring the IEP. It highlights the different perspectives of school district personnel and families.
Module 2: Laws and Process Affecting Special Education. This module reviews the major education laws that pertain to students with disabilities. These laws include IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and No Child Left Behind. Studies indicate that clear understanding of special education laws reduces conflicts between schools and families (Feinberg et al.. 2002). This module includes a number of optional group activities that reinforce course content, including an IEP Jeopardy game.
Module 3: The Individualized Education Program. This module focuses on the development of the IEP, emphasizing the critical importance of parent participation in the process. It reviews key components of the IEP, including procedural safeguards, evaluation, transition planning, and writing measurable goals and objectives. Giving parents training in the IEP process allows them to participate with knowledge, skill, and confidence.
Module 4: Person-Centered Planning. This module introduces the philosophy and practice of person-centered planning, a highly effective method for generating opportunities for all IEP members to participate in the planning process (Keyes & Owens-Johnson, 2003). Educators using person-centered planning methods can design questions that respect the unique qualities of individuals and their families, including disability, race, gender, class, culture, language, and sexual orientation (Keyes & Owens-Johnson; Marrone, Hoff, & Helm, 1997). Person-centered planning methods help families articulate their priorities for their child and promote collaboration among team members. 
Module 5: Family School Partnerships. True family-school partnerships require an understanding of the relationship’s core components, commitment to shared responsibility for its success, and the ability to approach challenges to the partnership as opportunities to enhance the student’s educational outcomes

     I like the articles last point on:  “Final Thoughts Successful parent-professional partnerships result in improved outcomes for students, but many parents and professionals require training to develop the skills necessary to form effective relationships. Not only was this project successful in addressing the training needs of parents and educators who support students with disabilities, but it also encouraged a positive outlook on future collaboration for many of them.” (Whitebread, p. 11).  The article summed up the importance of training the parent in the IEP process and the necessity to form successful relationship with the teacher as a partner.

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:Kat: K. M. M.Ed

Author, Artist, Philosopher.

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