Tuesday, June 26, 2012

5 Questions to Ask Your Child’s Teacher Before School Ends




1.  What can I work on with my child this summer?  Please give me at least three goals that we can work on at home.
Consistency is very important for your child.  Help him by continuing to practice learned skills.  While summer is a great time for your child to relax and disconnect from the demands of school, you don’t want your child to lose skills that his teacher worked so hard on teaching!  Generalization (or the practice of performing the same skill in different environments) can be a huge challenge for your child.  For example, he may have learned to write his name in school, but cannot do that at home.  What a perfect time to help your child practice skills in a different environment!  Use summer time to you and your child’s advantage.  Practice school goals at home.

2.  Can you please give me some worksheets so I can reinforce skills that he has learned?
Ask your teacher if she has any materials that you can use at home.  Some teachers have to get rid of old text- and workbooks to make room for new series.  Maybe she could give you some that she was going to throw away.  Many teachers would love children to practice skills that they have already learned. Your child’s teacher may be happy to make some copies of worksheets and activities. It never hurts to ask. If the teacher has reached her photocopy limit, maybe you can offer to make copies.

3.  Can you give my phone number to any parents of children my child befriended in his class? I would love to set up some play-dates.
Many parents are nervous to set up play dates for their children with Autism.  The parents of your child’s classmates may very likely feel the same way!  Make it known that you would love to help your child make friends.  Give out your phone number and email address, ask for phone numbers, set up play dates, and invite the other children’s parents over, too.  Remember, it takes a village to raise a child with Autism, and your child’s friends are all in the same boat.

4.  What kind of behavior system do you use in class? I would love to continue using that system at home.
Be sure to ask your child’s teacher about behavior management.  Why reinvent the wheel?  If a behavior system is working for your child at school, try using it at home also.  You may need to make some changes to the system, but it is better than not trying.  For example, maybe his teacher uses a green, yellow, and red traffic light system.  When your child gets to red, he loses a privilege.  If your child is familiar with a behavior program and it works, it may just work at home too.  However, if it does not work, don’t be discouraged. Remember that generalization can be a challenge for your child. He may be successful with something in one place but may have challenges in another.  Keep trying though.  With patience and practice, your child will probably succeed.

5.  Can you recommend some good summer programs that my child may enjoy?
Teachers are a wonderful resource.  However, the end of the school year is a hectic time and they may forget to tell you everything they know!  So, ask!  Many summer camps contact schools to notify them of their programs.  Perhaps your child’s teacher can tell you about camp programs that other students are attending. Some teachers cannot recommend programs because the public school system may not permit it.  However, you can always ask, “What camp are other children in my son’s class going to?”

Remember to ask people for support and help. Your child’s teacher loves children, is a teacher for a reason, and wants to help create successful experiences for you and your child.  All you need to do is ask!

If you are a teacher, and you have other ideas to add to this article, please comment below.

Sumber:   Jennifer Lingle, M.Ed.

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