Effective Communication Handout


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Effective Communication Handout

  1. 1. FACTORS AFFECTING COMMUNICATION ► Credibility ► Timing Effective Communication ► Preparation ► Emotions Special Education Services Aimee Gilman ► Overuse Communication: Verbal Communication A Two-way Experience ► Classroom Visit, Parent/Teacher Conference, ► Typesof communication and the IEP/MFE Meeting Verbal Tone of voice ►In person-classroom visits, meetings, conferences, phone ►Active v passive voice ►Nonverbal Use of proper terms ►Written ►“Buzz Words” (FAPE, meaningful participation, specific and ►Silence measurable, measurable progress, data) Verbal Communication Verbal Communication Do not raise your voice If you wish to speak directly with teacher/staff (outside the IEP/MFE meeting) arrange a time Avoid interruptions and “talking over” to that is mutually convenient to both of you. other team members Be prepared with your list of questions If you feel they aren’t listening- or are Don’t “overstay your welcome” Schedule another time if you have additional concerns. interrupting you, speak up Stroking- let people know when they are doing a good job Never threaten to sue 1
  2. 2. Verbal Communication at Parent-Teacher/Therapist IEP/MFE Meeting Communication ► How do you control the agenda Never be aggressive or accusatory ► “Before we move on, I want to talk about Don’t expect long, expansive ___________.” communications ►Refocus team on child’s needs; “Let’s go back for a minute to the present levels” Don’t show up uninvited ►Asking questions; “I want to ask Mrs. X, the Keep unscheduled communications brief speech therapist, about …” Include positives ►“I need some time to review this” It’s O.K. to ask a question, in fact Non-Verbal Communication at the IEP/MFE Meeting ask several… Attitude ► Approach all meetings with a positive attitude (even if ► Ask Questions you need to fake it) When you don’t understand Appearance of Preparation ► Your documents are easily accessible When you disagree ► You have your “resource books” on the table and accessible To assure you are heard Body Language Reasonableness of parent expectations as to ► Facial Expressions nature and amount of communication ► Body Language Leaning toward speaker Arms not crossed Nodding or making eye contact with speaker Physical Appearance ► Appropriately Dressed Written Communication Written Communication with SD Staff ► When you MUST use it ► Letters to teacher are first line Evaluation requests ► If things are not going well, Director of Spec IEP meeting requests Ed is your next contact In response to a letter you received regarding ► Use cc: judiciously-don’t blanket SD with your child’s substantive program your letters If concerns are not being addressed ► Pick your battles-if its really important or concerning you should consider sending a letter 2
  3. 3. Evaluation Requests IEP Team Meeting Request ► Include your Parental Consent-so there is no ► Be clear on what you want to be the scope of question as to the date of the request the meeting ► Describe what you believe to be the Scope of the progress, change services, update on student needs Evaluation ► Be clear on your availability ► Note times you are available to participate in determining the scope of the evaluation ► Request you receive in advance any documents prepared by staff which will be ALWAYS KEEP A PAPER COPY OF ALL DOCMENTS presented at the meeting ► Identify any person not on the IEP team that you would like to attend-including your advocate or friend. ► ALWAYS KEEP A PAPER COPY OF ALL DOCMENTS A Few Extras Consider bringing a friend to ► If you don’t agree with the meeting summary communicate for you prepared by SD-draft your version-without accusatory language-send it to SD with a ►If they are more articulate – but be sure letter stating you want it attached to the SD’s they are appropriate and are well versed meeting summary for the record. on the matters at hand. ► If you receive a letter from the SD which appears to be taking a hard line, don’t ►If they make you feel more empowered respond in the same way-send a well crafted letter which makes you the “bigger person” ► Only put in writing what you want a hearing officer or a judge or the prosecutor to see – writings are forever BEWARE The “Over Zealous” Parent Beth’s Basic Reminders or Advocate ► Keep copies of all documents received-note ► The SD doesn’t have to put up with with the date received disrespectful, rude, inconsiderate or threatening behavior (neither do ► Put it all in a notebook in chronological parents and guardians) done in the order for easy reference name of advocacy.This type of behavior ► If you provide SD with a copy of private is self defeating and will almost always have an adverse effect on the process. evaluation or therapy notes-be sure to note that on your original ► There is more value to a cooperative meeting then one where everyone leaves upset. 3
  4. 4. Communication Basics Communication Basics ► THE DO’S ► THE DON’TS Ask questions if you don’t understand NO PROFANITY Keep emotions under control NO THREATS “Keep your distance” NO DISRESPECT Be respectful-treat them the way you would like to be treated and maybe it will catch on! 4