There are lot of different obstacles families who have children with special needs face. One set of parents were given the opportunity to speak at the Family Retreat Weekend hosted by The Texas School for the Deaf. Their speech was titled “The Importance of Parents Involvement in your (Deaf) Childs Education”.
Once they discovered that their oldest daughter was deaf and had cerebral palsy they began a new journey. Their focus was to explain to parents how they must actively be involved in their children’s education. In their speech, they focused on 4 main points:
1. Seek Wisdom
The special needs community can seem large and confusing. There are government benefits, certain rights you have, and different types of education choices. In order to guide the ocean of the special needs community you must seek wisdom. This can be provided by community support, an attorney, a financial advisor, or through books. It is important to thoroughly understand exactly what your options are and how to maximize your benefits.
2. Expect the Best
In order for students to receive the best education possible, the student, parents and school must join together in a group effort. They explained how we must expect the best from our children and that means we also expect the best from their schools and teachers.
Communication is key. Not only is it necessary to have an open line of communication, it is also important not to be a helicopter parent. You must be able to talk to your children and be interested in various aspects of their lives. Communication also goes further than just verbal communication. This family decided to learn American Sign Language (ASL) since their daughter is deaf. Although they may not be experts at it they try their best and that is the type of dedication to communication that must be shown.
4. Show Up
Make the effort to build relationships with your child’s teachers and staff. Become involved in their school programs and encourage development in the special needs community. By showing that you are making that extra effort, you are encouraging your children to do the same.
Their commitment to watching their children’s success does not go unnoticed. The purpose of their speech is to share their story on their tips and how to set up the best future possible for your child. It takes baby steps as well as your full heart.
For more information and resources on planning for your loved one with special needs, browse through our website at specialneedsforum.org.