Preparation and communication

Preparation and communication

I have always found preparing for Student Support Group meetings to be really beneficial. I take the time before each meeting to think through any questions I have, issues I want to discuss or information to pass onto staff. This can include upcoming school events that may need to be discussed or planned for. I also prepare words and/or examples to use that clearly describe what I want to say. I prioritise the issues I have in case there is not enough time to raise them all, and I make sure I discuss the most important ones first. I check through the minutes from the previous meeting to familiarise myself with what was discussed and any information I need to update staff. I also note any issues that were to be followed up.

Each year I establish preferred methods of communication with the class teacher, something that works for me and the teacher. This has included a communication book, a quick conversation before or after school, an occasional written note or my favourite: email. This way I feel confident that I can quickly touch base with the teacher as needed in a way that works for them.

At the beginning of each year I prepare a single page summary of each of my children with additional needs. It contains all sorts of information including their diagnosis and how it affects them.

I explain whether they are aware and accepting of their diagnosis, if any of the other parents or children are aware of the diagnosis, and I outline their strengths and weaknesses.

I also include strategies that have worked well in the past, suggestions about how to deal with issues as they arise, and a list of supports they have accessed in the past.

I have found these to be really helpful in allowing the new class teacher to get to know my child well, before they start. This way, the transition from one teacher to another is smoother and the kids have a better start to the year.

It has also helped specialist teachers get to know my children and have simple strategies to assist them. It also helps if the information can be given to any casual relief teachers too, as it gives them a brief summary of my child.

© Association for Children with a Disability