Wednesday, March 25, 2015
The first round of in home interviews of families with a special child gave us a clear picture of the problem. The current approach to supporting these families is not working but we did not know why. We did the research to discover why!
After the interview, one researcher said, "Well that changed my life. I will never teach Special Education to college students the same way again." When asked why she said it she said, "Although we train Special Ed students we do not talk with their families. We do not go into the homes to discover why they and their parents have so much difficulty completing school requirements.
We get frustrated with the parents because we accuse them of getting in our way. Now I see it is a completely different world than we thought. The whole family is overwhelmed by the demands of caring for a child with a special need. We have to take our students into the homes so they can understand the family's world."
There is a paradigm shift occurring today. We must connect these two worlds! Real support and education is impossible if the educators and case workers never enter the world of the students and families.
The traditional approach to supporting a child begins and ends with the academic and physical problems. However, a family needs much more than that. The family needs psychological, social and spiritual support. The Federal and State each require schools and agencies to support children and families in ways that include their culture, faith, and community supporters. We do that well.
We are developing tools that bridge the gap. We have a self assessment tool called The Family Resource Builder that allows parents to figure out exactly what they want and need.
If you want to learn more as a professional involved in an agency or school contact us at patient home advantage.
If you are involved in a church contact us at Sweeten Life.