Autism Resources Uncategorized

3 Tips for Communicating with your Child’s Teacher

BlueSprig September 30, 2019

When your child is on the autism spectrum, the idea of facing down another school year with all new faces can be a daunting task when communicating with your child’s teacher. Even as a caregiver, you’ll face challenges when it comes to how to best communicate with your child’s teacher.

Strong communication between you and your child’s teacher can have a positive outcome on your child’s success both in and out of school. By partnering with their teacher, you can work together to implement strategies to build on your child’s strengths and address their more challenging behaviors.

Here are a few tips to make things work for the new school year:

  1. Describe Your Child’s Behaviors with Positive Language: Make sure to emphasize the positive aspects of having your child in their classroom, not just the challenges they may face. If they are particularly helpful, love to organize, or really shine during art projects, make sure to let their teacher know so they can bring out the best in your child all year long.
  2. Ask the Teacher How They Prefer to Communicate: There’s nothing worse than getting off on the wrong foot by harassing a teacher over email when they aren’t comfortable with it. If they prefer text or a classroom app etc., make sure to reach out in the method they are most comfortable with and it’s sure to set things off in the right direction.
  3. Collaborate About the Best Plan: It’s important for the teacher to pick up the early signs of your child becoming overwhelmed and setting a designated area where the child can go with the teacher if he/she has a meltdown or gets anxious. It should help make your child feel assured and safe, and keep the teacher’s class functioning smoothly as well. You can communicate with your child about the plan so they see that you and their teacher are on the same team!

Strong Communication Sets Your Child Up for Success

Under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), your child has the right to receive the services necessary to access education. You can discuss these services during your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting. Before you head to this meeting, brush up on IEPs, read over your child’s previous IEP, and prepare to discuss their progress since the last school year.

Supporting children with autism requires communicating constantly with your child’s teacher – more so than just the bi-annual parent-teacher conference. You’re the expert on your child and their diagnosis, so, make sure to share as much as you can with your child’s teacher. What works best for your child? What doesn’t work? Is there anything that’s worked well for them in ABA therapy that the teacher can use in class? What are they interested in? Helping the teacher get up to speed will help them get to know your child better, which in turn, will set your child up for increased success. This is also a great way to start your parent-teacher relationship on a positive note!