Guidepost Three

Continuing with this discussion about our ethical decision-making when it pertains to our children … our quality of life, and our child’s, depends on quality social interactions. I suppose you could sum this up in one word — rapport

Or maybe two — trust and rapport.

When Shahla talks about this idea of ethical social interactions with behavior professionals, she focuses, in part, on family interactions. Good professionals will recognize the child’s strengths and the family’s strengths and expertise. They will respect our relationship boundaries and our confidentiality. They will obtain our informed consent when we draw up treatment plans. A good plan will reflect both child and family-centered communication.

When the professionals speak with you, they will use accurate terms and descriptions and the intent and impact of their words will be clear and effective.

We parents have responsibility to be an effective member of the entire caregiving team — and, to the best of our ability, solve problems in a positive way.

One of the hardest places for parents to be effective is at a special education team meeting. Even professionals have trouble when there are conflicting demands between the school district and the team’s work on behalf of our child.

One of Shahla’s students, Heather Barahona, developed and tested a training program for parents to help them have better social interactions with school professionals. The next post will have Heather’s eight tips for parents which grew out of that test program.

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