Heather’s help for parents

Thanks to Heather Barahona and Shahla A’lai-Rosales for these eight tips for meeting with professionals. While it’s designed for parents, this can work for self-advocacy for adults, too.

1. Prepare
a. Thank the professional
b. State you are willing to actively participate
c. State how your prepared for the meeting

2. Check for Understanding
a. Summarize the professional’s report
b. State related observations of your child
c. Ask for feedback from partner (if applicable)

3. Clarify
a. Ask questions or state you have no questions
b. Summarize professional’s response

4. Highlight Points of Agreement
a. State appreciation for the meeting, etc.
b. Acknowledge appropriateness of the report
c. State specific area(s) of agreement

5. Identify Issues
a. State area(s) of disagreement using “I” statements
b. Acknowledge professionals concern for your child
c. Admit misunderstanding (if applicable)

6. Suggestion of Options
a. What are all the possible options?
b. How can you summarize them to show you understand?
c. What are advantages and disadvantages of each option?
d. What are the options from most to least preferred?
e. What is the most positive thing about your preferred option?

7. Decide on Action to Take
a. Who will deliver services?
b. What services are to be delivered?
c. Where will services be delivered?
d. When will services begin?
e. What time and day of week will services be delivered?
f. How long with the services need to be provided?
g. How will option be evaluated for effectiveness?
h. Who will evaluate the options for effectiveness?
i. When will option be evaluated for effectiveness?

8. Feedback and Acknowledgement
a. What did you like about the meeting?
B. Who will make the next contact?
c. When will the next contact be made?
d. How can the contact person be reached?

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