How special educators can help parents

How to provide support

You are now in a unique position in developing a relationship with your students’ parents. No matter what your relationship was before this crisis, you have an opportunity to rewrite it. Remember this is just as new for the parents as it is for you.

You are navigating uncharted territory together. It is essential that you establish yourself as a resource to support them. Here are three great resources to use:

Resources for supporting parents

When supporting parents now, it is important to have a thorough and compassionate understanding of their situation. They are probably scared. You may have a single parent who is also a health care worker. That parent is going to be terrified of making his/ her child sick and they are also worried about ensuring quality education for their child. You may have parents that are ready to embrace the challenge, and you may have parents that are feeling completely overwhelmed with everything. 

There is no right or wrong way to approach this except for with grace and compassion. 

Communicate, collaborate and provide support the best you are able. Infinitec has a series of parent education modules they may find helpful, and Families Together also has resources to support families

6 tips to help you support parents and caregivers

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate. In times of uncertainty, it is better to over communicate instead of under communicate.
  2. Learn their situation. Every family is different and the amount of support they are able to give their child will be unique. Learn their situation and give grace.
  3. Listen. They have concerns and it’s important to remember that if it’s important enough for them to tell you, it’s important for you to listen.
  4. Collaborate. Special educators are especially creative. After you understand their level of support and concerns, work with the family to crea-te a plan that works for them.
  5. Give grace. We are all learning as we go. You may have developed an amazing plan and you learn a week later it wasn’t realistic. That’s ok. Give the parents and yourself grace. You are human in uncharted territory.
  6. Know when to pivot. If you find things aren’t working, be open to changes.

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