Families and Their Partnerships

Module 4: Discussion Forum
Today’s Families and Their Partnerships with Professionals
Please reference only from chapter 3 of the book Exceptional Education Book 9th edition.
The information and references must come from chapter 3 of the book. Please use APA citation and in-text citation from the Exceptional Education Book 9th edition. This is the link, username and password to read the book. Exceptional Education Book 9th edition

Exceptional Education Book 9th edition

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Please make a respond of the two classmates I have chosen below.
I want us to have a conversation about student placement trends and the environment that we are teaching students in. Provide your thoughts, respond to at least two classmates’ posts by Sunday evening.

Make a reply to Seth Dress
Stewart (2018) repeatedly emphasized the importance of getting the student’s family input about the IEP meeting and what goes into the IEP.  While the importance of this seems obvious, it is important to remember that while you are the one doing the paperwork, it is not YOUR IEP, it is the student’s.  The more someone has a say in what they are going to do, the more they are going to care about the outcome and buy into the process.
Sterling (2018) also discussed the importance of not using jargon and focusing on a student’s strengths while creating the IEP.  Jargon is frustrating, and too much jargon can make someone feel ignorant, which causes defensiveness and unwillingness to work with you.  In my experience, I have found that another way of circumnavigating the jargon issue is to teach people what the jargon means.  Teaching people jargon can be great for building a sense of teamwork and can help empower the parents.  It can help parents feel like you are not talking down to them and can help them feel like they are not being patronized.  Providing parents with information can help them feel empowered by gaining information that can help them feel well-informed, and as a result, more confident.
One way I have learned to get people to focus on someone’s strengths as opposed to someone’s perceived weaknesses is ‘The Elephant Example.’  Elephants are incredibly strong animals, capable of picking up trees with their faces.  The flip side of this is that because the elephant is so powerfully built, it is one of the few mammals that cannot jump.  If we focus on the elephant’s inability to jump, we can miss the elephant’s incredible physical strength, which is unfair to the elephant.  I had a lot of luck with this approach as an LPC.  Not only does it redirect focus, but it can also help people realize that their needs can sometimes be viewed as part of their strengths (ex. Johnny sometimes struggles with handing work in on time because Johnny is highly attentive to details and wants to make his work as perfect as possible).  Plus people just seem to like to talk about elephants, for some reason.
One way I want to try to improve my IEP’s is find an appropriate way to have the student and families share what they want their goals to be before I share their student’s previous goals.  In the past I have presented the student’s goals from the previous IEP and asked what they wanted the goals for this IEP.  A lot of the time the parents say they want the same goals but with higher standards (ex., 90% hand-in rate as opposed to 80%).  While these goals are great, I cannot help but wonder if this is biasing what the parents want in a goal by sticking to the former goal instead of coming up with new goals they find important for their student.

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