Family members play a crucial role in the education and support of a student. Parents and other family members can aid school staff in understanding their unique child.
Siblings also play an important part in supporting their brother's or sister's growth and development and may provide important contributions.
Parents are the most important team members in designing behavioral supports and creating positive home environments that support their child's development and academic progress. Parents know particular strategies and approaches that have worked to motivate their child as well as many strength and weaknesses other team members will wish to know about. School personnel can play an vital role in helping families adjust to the support needs of a child with a disability. Training parents to be a full member of their child's school or IEP team requires cultural competence and understanding of the unique struggles each family encounters with the student at home.
Siblings, Grandparents, and other Extended Family
Siblings play an important part in supporting their brother's or sister's growth and development. Increasingly, schools have found that they can give important insights and offer support when they are included in designing positive supports.
Sibling Support Project - Provides articles of interest and listservs for both young and older siblings who wish to share their experiences and thoughts about having a brother or sister with special needs. Parents are welcome to monitor. On the homepage click on Connect with Other Sibs, then SibKids or SibNet. A new listserv for parents who have both typically developing and special needs children has recently been introduced. Parents follow the same path and click on the SibParent listserv.
GrandCare Toolkit - Grandparents raising children face unique challenges. This resource may be helpful.
Educating Our Children Together: A Sourcebook for Effective Family-School-Community Partnerships - A report published by CADRE details eight strategies to create effective family-school-community partnerships and minimize adversarial relationships.
CADRE - Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education
Family Village (disability related resources) - Check out the Shopping Mall, especially Communication Aids and the available resources.