There is a stigma attached to the relationship between
schools and parents. It is believed that there is often a disconnect between
what the parents want for their child and what the school/studio is willing to
give. Many people enter into this dynamic ready to fight before they have
even heard about wants, needs and services offered. What is considered
Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) at the public school level does
not necessarily coincide with doctor recommendations. There are also discrepancies
in schools of thought related to the extent to which a school
should be involved in the home. This complex relationship can only become
more complicated - even toxic - if and when something goes awry...
Raising and educating children is a difficult job. Whether a
child is typically developing or has a diagnosis, ALL children engage in
behaviors (and "mis"-behaviors) and require that their academic needs
be met. There are times when children display maladaptive behaviors, exhibit
stagnation in progress or face other serious challenges. More often
than not, the parents will blame the school. And the school? They probably
blame the parents. Here we go again...back into the tumultuous arena of parents
vs. the school. So who is too blame? Why is blame being placed? Isn’t the
child/student the main focus here?
Best practice would dictate that any time a
"problem" arises, take a step back and assess the situation. Before
pointing fingers at someone else, point them at yourself first! Ask yourself
questions such as: Is there something that I am doing that is contributing to
this situation? Am I being consistent? What are the triggers? Is there
something I can be doing differently to prevent this from happening? Next,
discuss the situation with key players: parents, teachers, therapists and other
support staff. This will help to alleviate issues in the future. Communication
is key! Next, develop an action plan. This plan may include new strategies and
interventions, the involvement of other professionals or additional
How else can we stop the blame game? From a behavior
analytic standpoint, all decisions are made based on the analysis of ongoing
data collection. When an issue arises, the data speaks for itself! Ongoing data
collection and analysis affords the opportunity to track progress and intervene
on a treatment plan or intervention immediately. This insures that precious
time is not lost on ineffective treatments and procedures. When a problem
arises, devise a system of data collection to track it. This can be done
in across settings and behaviors.
Much of those same concerns between the school and parents
flow into the karate studio and become a “carry-over” so to speak. Being aware
of your child’s behavioral plan is extremely important to the instructors as
this ensures they too are in the loop.
So please, share what happens in school and at home so we can follow
through as well!
Thank you for reading and we will see you next month!!