Monday, September 20, 2010
As I See It: Advocating From a Parent's Perspective
It's been a couple months, and school is once again in full swing. My topic has to inevitably turn to social skills. Every parent I've consulted with over the last few months has needed help with determining social goals or getting the school to acknowledge the need for training for their kiddos. How much should we get? It should be the question, yes, but, more often, the question becomes; how much can we get?
Most IEPs contain the same language and nearly the same amount of SST, 15 minutes twice a week. Of course, that's not sufficient. A recent study determined autistic children need a minimum of 30 hours a week. That's just not going to happen, right? So, parents, get ready to work the partnerships.
It's imperative to get your teachers on board with on the job training for your child. During the day, the social opportunities are endless; standing in line in the cafeteria, going to lockers, or working with the teacher on spelling. These are all social interactions that could be capitalized upon. The trick is convincing others to use these teachable moments.
It makes sense to prioritize the skills most needed and work on those. Is your child not understanding others' verbal or visual cues? Well, imagine how that translates into a child's academic performance!
Teachers, especially in general education, may not get it. They may not understand that it isn't willful disobedience, so much as misunderstanding. Talk to them about the medical side of your child's disorder. Once everyone is on the same page, it's so much easier to suss out solutions.