Over this school year, I have gotten to know this family fairly well. I have Jay in class daily and she is on the track team that I coach. I also drive her home on Mondays because there is not after school activity bus. I have had the chance to discuss issues and listen to her often. I always visit with the family when I drop her off. From this family, I have learned about respecting diverse backgrounds and the importance of open communication. Jay has shared with me a culture that is very different than my own and it has opened my eyes to the many different students I work with. Also, the positive impact from building communication between home and school through phone calls, emails, and home visits has been rewarding.
I will be working with this family for the next three years while Jay is in high school. We have built a solid foundation as a team to help Jay and her education. This family has learned to work with the school and set goals to benefit Jay and her transition after high school
Connections to the Textbook, Families and Children with Special Needs
In chapter four, “Working with Families: Understanding Family Factors”, we read about family stress. With all of the things occurring in the lives of this family there is a lot of stress and that is without the economy and its effects.
In chapter five, “Working with Families: Respecting Diverse Backgrounds”, we read about and put a lot of thought into the meaning of culture and diversity. I did not mention that Jay is African American when I listed her background information because that point did not cross my mind. I learned about her culture and background and what it is like to have so many half siblings.
Jay’s case conference was held recently. We set the conference at a time and date convenient for her father and other members of the case conference committee. “Involving family members in the development and implementation of the IEP is a professionally sound practice and can greatly enhance educational opportunities for students with disabilities.” (page 172) The special education process was reviewed and the appropriate education plan was written, keeping Jay’s legal rights and least restrictive environment in mind.