[R-0459] S7: Family and Community

Citation: The IRIS Center. Collaborating with Families. Retrieved from: http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/fam/ [or enter The IRIS Center. Collaborating with Families” in your search window]

Abstract: This one-hour module provides information educators and administrators should understand about working with the families of children with disabilities. Users may first want to visit the links at the bottom of the page that provide a module outline, a video tutorial on finding your way around the module, information on the adult learning theory on which the modules are based, and suggestions for materials to supplement information presented in the module. The module begins with a Challenge and Initial Thoughts which are useful for assessing the knowledge base of the learner. Next, Perspectives and Resources provides in-depth information including one state’s initiative to build positive relationships between its schools and families, the roles parents play as decision makers, and links to additional sources of information. A Wrap-Up and post-test Assessment tool are also provided. After completing this module, learners will recognize the diversity of families and the importance of involving families in students’ education, understand the issues that most affect families who have children with disabilities, and become aware of a number of practical ideas for creating a positive partnership with parents of children with disabilities.

Integration: While the information presented in this module does apply to parents of all students with disabilities, the focus of the examples is on parents of children in middle school and beyond.

Content Focus: Child, Family, and Community; Families; Health, Safety, and Nutrition; Parents of Children with Disabilities

Notes: Research has indicated that having parents of children with disabilities speak to future educators helps make them aware of the importance of treating all parents with respect and including them in their children’s education. As an addition to this module, instructors could invite local parents to speak in the classroom or ask if there is a scholar who would like to speak to the class about his or her child with a disability. Parents could be given the choice of creating a presentation or providing a more informal question and answer session. Scholars could also interview parents of children ages 0-5 with disabilities. Another resource that may be used with this module is the article Partnering with Families of Children with Special Needs retrieved by typing the title and NAEYC into your search engine.