Locate Collaborating with Families from the IRIS website (For an alternate accessible resource please use this: Understanding families: Applying family systems theory to early childhood practices).
Select the ‘Challenge’ balloon to begin the module. After completing
the module, choose one of the five discussion topics listed below.
- Describe the range of emotions associated with
being the parent of a child with special needs. Select two emotional
states and describe how you, as a teacher, would work with a parent
experiencing these emotions.
- Identify and describe three roles that a parent
of a child who has a disability might fulfill that are unlike the roles
typically associated with parenting.
- Reese is a young girl with cerebral palsy. Her
primary means of mobility is a manual wheelchair, though she is also
able to take a few independent steps. Reese’s parents have recently
separated and are in the process of divorcing. Reese, her mom, and two
older siblings have temporarily relocated and are now living in the
upstairs of her grandparents’ house. As a result of the move, Reese has
transitioned to a new school. Although her mom is generally very
involved with her child’s education, there are currently many stressors
in her life. Describe at least two of the stressors, besides divorce,
that Reese’s mom might be experiencing and explain how you think they
might affect her time and involvement with the school.
- Imagine you are a teacher in Reese’s new school.
Describe three ideas you have for building a relationship with Reese’s
family and how you would go about making the family feel welcome in your
- Imagine that you, as Reese’s new teacher, have
just returned from a visit to Reese’s grandparents. During your home
visit, Reese’s mother vented about her failed relationship with her
husband and the reasons for their divorce. Now the teachers in the
teachers’ lounge are pushing you for the juicy details. What is your
responsibility in this situation and why?