I asked you what you'd like special-educators to know -- about your child, yourself, the needs and rights of our families -- and a recent entry to the Readers Respond page made a good point that letting parents know things is a good idea for special-educators, too. It reminded me of so many times when I felt teachers weren't telling me things because they thought I did not want to know them, leading to IEP meetings at which all the nicey nice "she's soaring!" fell away and the problems that had gone unmentioned all year were dumped on me all at once. (It also reminded me of all the morning battles I didn't pick, about clothes and hygiene and finger-sucking, that maybe caused the teachers to think that if I sent my kid to school like that, I clearly couldn't handle the truth.) Wrote heartlandmom:
Please remember to communicate with us about what our child is working on at school, what is coming easily for her and what is challenging to her. I believe that learning is a 24/7 process, and if I know what she is working on, I will do my best to carry that subject matter over into our home/family life. Also, please understand that I sometimes have to pick my battles with my child. Many things, like brushing her hair, wearing a belt, or trimming her nails lead to screaming, kicking battles at home due to her sensory issues. So please accept that if she isn't perfectly dressed and groomed at times, it is not because I don't care, but because I DO, and don't want to put her through unnecessary discomfort for the sake of her appearance. I am really hoping that, like other little girls, these things will become important to her some day, but right now they are not.
What do you wish your child's teachers knew? What do you wish you could make them understand? Share your messages of hope and frustration on the Readers Respond page. And for some ideas on starting the upcoming school year on the right foot, read 25 Ways to Make This the Best School Year Ever.
Photo by Terri Mauro