Giving parents a voice
As parents of children with special needs, we are constantly faced with challenging situations in which we have to stand up for our kids. The Parent Voice can help parents be the best possible advocates for their children.
Meetings with SENCOs, teachers, educational psychologists, therapists, doctors - the list is endless and all of them have to be handled in a calm, reasonable manner. But, often, calm and reasonable is the last thing we’re feeling. When we’re angry, upset or frustrated, it’s difficult to put our child’s case across effectively. So, we fail to get the best out of the people with access to resources that can meet our child’s special needs and become frustrated all over again.
You are the best possible advocate for your child. With some clear strategies that help you put your own emotions to one side, you can concentrate on the job at hand: ensuring your child’s needs are met.
Offering special needs professionals a parental perspective
So many professionals come into contact with children with special needs: SENCOs, teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, clinicians, physicians, and educational psychologists to name but a few. Every one of them has the child’s best interests at heart.
Yet, as professionals we are often faced with issues our clinical training didn’t necessarily prepare us for: explaining procedures, delivering bad or difficult news, supporting parents who are angry or upset.
Sometimes parents’ behaviour seems puzzling: they may seem unwilling or unable to do the best for their child. Perhaps they’re angry at a particular situation, but it feels like they’re taking their frustrations out on us.
Occasionally it can be the our own feelings as professionals which need to be taken into account. It can be hard to deal with an angry parent. It can also be frustrating when we don’t have enough time or resources to be as helpful as we’d like.