The best way to handle your nerves and make sure you understand what is being said is to ask questions. You do not have to know anything about the process, education or even desired outcome. All you need to know is that you want to make an informed decision on how to best meet your child’s needs.
Often parents want to tell the school team what they want done for their child without really understanding what the school team is offering. Fear sometimes takes over and with it, listening goes out the window.
Walking into a meeting with a specific agenda can derail the process by eliminating the possibility of dialogue. Asking questions makes dialogue happen. Dialogue invites joint planning. Joint planning brings ultimate success.
What questions? Here is a brief sample - in no particular order of importance.
- Where will this take place? (this school, another school, gen ed classroom, resource rm.)
- How many children will be in the class? (is it a separate setting or in the reg. classroom)
- Why does she need to have this? (is this support only given this way)
- How is that different from what is happening for him now?
- Will this be every day?
- Who will she be with? (Are all the children in need of special services like you child)
- May I see the classroom before I say yes?
- Why are you suggesting this and not that? (whatever you thought you would get)
- What happens if I do not sign for this?
- What else can you do now to support learning? (are there other ways to have support) Will she be with her friends?
- I am not clear, please describe this more completely.
Keep relations cordial while not agreeing to anything that you do not want to happen for your child. You want to show strength of purpose and a willingness to work towards a learning plan for your child that meets their needs. Asking questions is the best way to get there especially when you and the school seem miles apart.
Have a need? Do reach out today.