Autism Coaches Meeting 10.01.19

Parent-Teacher Communication

As parents of children with autism, it can be a real challenge for us to get any information out of our children regarding what happens to them when they aren't with us. For me, the most I get is did you have a good day or a bad day. Beyond that, I have to rely on Parent-Teacher Communication. What form this can take, can be as varied as our kids. There are tried and true written notes, agendas, emails, and apps.

As we all know, most of our classrooms are pretty full, so it may be difficult for some teachers to write a detailed account for every student which is totally understandable. Know that most of us don't need a daily account of what is going on. Check with each parent, but most of us are fine with a weekly check-in. Most parents want a general idea of what our kids are working on ie, reading, speech therapy, OT, math, those kinds of things. We like to be active participants in our children's education. If we know what they are working on, we can follow up at home. Not every child is given homework regularly, and I'm totally ok with that, but if we know the types of things they are working on, we can continue to follow up and home and we feel more secure just knowing more about what is going on when we aren't around and have kids that can't express what's going on.

Many schools provide agendas for a handwritten note. If teachers want to make their own, it's easy to copy a sheet for the week of what you are working on for the whole class. There are a million examples on Pinterest.

Email is always an option if that's a preferred method of contact. Not really going to go into details here since we all know how to send an email.

Now the latest method that's becoming increasingly popular is apps. I personally love them. But I admit that I am a techno junkie. I'm going to list some here that you can check out, but they really do make things easier for teachers. They can put a single blast out to all of the parents. You can take a quick snapshot of a child's work and send it to just one parent. I love getting notices of GOOD things. This makes it super easy to do on the fly. It's also easier to keep parents in the loop when things need to be taken care of such as behavior or assignments before things get out of hand. It's much quicker than a phone call. But you can still do that if more of a personal touch is necessary.

This article has a list of the 10 most popular apps. I've used Remind and ClassDojo and have loved them. There are tons of others available.

We can't emphasize enough how many issues are avoided just by improving communication on all levels. The parent-teacher relationship is the first place to start and we can work our way up. Please feel free to contact us for any further discussion. We would love to help!

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