Iris Module: Collaborating with Families
1. Describe the range of emotions associated with being the parent of a child with special needs. Select two emotional states and describe how you as a teacher would you work with a parent experiencing these emotions.
Parents of students with disabilities can experience a wide range of different emotions, such as, denial, anxiety, fear, depression, guilt, and anger. I have seen these emotion first hand, as a teacher. Working as a special education teacher, I work with families and children with disabilities. I get to see how the disability can affect families. Teachers need to be aware of the different stressors that families with children with disabilities experience on a daily basis.
If parents are experiencing fear, as a teacher I would listen to them about their concerns. I would show my support but more importantly I would help them become more empowered to help themselves and their child.
If parents are experiencing anger, parents may direct their anger towards the teacher. As a teacher I would not take it personally. I understand the challenges that parents with children with disabilities are facing. I would provide resources (e.g suggest support groups) to the parents that would help them learn more about the disability.
2. Identify and describe three roles that a parent of a child who has a disability might undertake that are unlike the roles typically associated with parenting.
Parents take on different roles when taking care of their child with disabilities. For example, many students with disabilities have also medical problems, then the parents take the role of medical experts. Parents have to understand the medical issues surrounding their child’s disabilities. I have seen how parents have to learn about the different aspects of their child’s medical condition and how to communicate the child’s need to others. Parents also have to take the role of case manager, parents