Lately, I have been reading a lot of blogs written by parents of children with special needs, especially children with severe, intensive or complex needs. Reading these blogs is a whole different kind of education, it helps put into perspective the whole life of students, beyond the 30 hours a week, 180 days a year they spend with in the classroom. It also helps one to appreciate "the other side of the table"
A colleague and I have been speaking a lot lately about how we could do more for parents as professionals, and just today I spoke with another friend about a philosophy of mine that I have been following for the past four years - "approach every interaction (with a parent - or anyone really) as a chance to make their load lighter and their path easier to travel." Since adopting that stance I have have very, very few negative interactions with parents. Still I wonder how we as professionals could do more to work with parents to attain the best possible outcomes for there students. How can we create better partnerships? How can we best present information? How can we create school-home carry over (and vice versa)? How can we point them towards resources for things like respite, personal care attendants, transition, community leisure opportunities, behavior management and AAC? Reading these blogs by parents of children with special needs helps me think about approaches that might work.
Here are the blogs I have been reading:
- Pam and Josh's Blog - an active AAC Family
- Micro Preemie Twins Blog (the video of Eden in her first power chair is a must see)
- Postcards from Holland
- The Ups and Downs of Raising 3 Amazing Kids
- Lucy May
- Maternal Instincts...Flying by the Seat of My Pants
- Our Little Piece of the World (great photography)
- Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords (today's entry about Schuyler asking for a big girl voice on her AAC device is very touching, this blog is now a published as a book entitled Schuyler's Monster)