Autism: C'hele's Story

August 20, 2016

Autism: Communication Books

Comm PgDoes your child’s resource room send home a communication book? If not, they should. It is the parents right to know what’s going on during their child’s day. If a teacher has any reservations about doing so, I would go to administration (principal, vice-principal) and request that one be sent home. It is your right. Depending on how the resource program is structured, it is vital that communication is present. Parents who are true advocates and who are working as part of their child’s professional team in their child’s education? Will most likely see huge benefits and positive results. Remember, these changes take time for Autistic individuals but they can happen. Routine, consistency is the key. I have more than not, witnessed one way communication where the S.E.A’s and teachers are the only one writing in the communication book to home, but the parent(s) do not reciprocate. Parents!! It is vital that we know of any important details of your child’s day at home in order to make the school experience successful. The purpose of this communication book is not to trap parents negatively. Many parents are always worried that we are looking for signs of abuse. It couldn’t be farther from the truth! Any trained S.E.A/Resource Teacher in Autism, understand the possible negative behaviours that occur at home. We understand what a melt-down is, how smart these kids can be at manipulating (they are kids after all!), what sensory over-load is, and so on. I want you to know that we understand what your family is going through. I’ve seen parents divorcing and families being broken up over their Autistic children. I want parents to know that most of us, are here for you. Parents do not have to write a diary entry every day (unless you want to!!)

The things that S.E.A’s/Teacher’s need to know is as follows:

  1. How did the night before school go? Any sleep issues? Run out of meds? Did they not eat dinner? Any sensory or new sensory issues? Did the homework not get done for any particular reason? Any behaviour concerns? And so on.
  2. The morning of school – Did they not eat breakfast? Are they tired? In a bad mood? Perseverating on something in particular that happened at home or school? If the student is a female? Did they get their period? It is wonderful for us to know the week before they are due for their period so we can prepare for the PMS symptoms so we can reduce any stress for the student. How much homework if sent home got done? What needs further work on? And so on.
  3. And in return, S.E.A’/Teachers will write back home:
  1. Any special events that occurred at school
  2. What their child worked on at school (academics, life-skills, work experience, etc.)
  3. If their child’s behaviour was triggered by something in particular
  4. Any medical/safety issues
  5. And so on.

Unless the program is unique, I would be highly suspicious if a teacher never created any communication books to be sent to and from home. I once worked for a teacher who purposely did not create any communication books. Because all she did all day is talk with the staff and surf the web on her laptop/phone. THEY NEVER DID ANYTHING IN THE RESOURCE ROOM! My daughter’s high school teacher refused to create them too. I was outraged and raised holy hell over it. A TRULY CHILD-CENTRED PROGRAM, will ensure that all the students and the program itself is flowing and is HOLISTIC.

Enclosed is an example of what communication page looks like. Anyone is free to copy and print it!

Again…..ADVOCATE!!

 

 

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