This second season of NCCD Portal podcasts focuses on how schools can support students with either a diagnosed disability or an imputed disability so they can be successful learners across different education settings.
In this episode, we turn our attention to the knowledge and insights of parents when it comes to imputed disability. This is when a school determines that a student with additional learning needs has an undiagnosed disability that has a functional impact on their schooling. It explores stories where parents, in collaboration with schools, not only assist them to understand student need and functional impact to impute disability but positively contribute to understanding the adjustments required to support a student’s individual learning needs at school.
You’ll meet primary school student William who displayed early signs of difficulty with reading. His mum, Renee, talks about how important it is to recognise the role parents play as ‘experts’ of their own child. She says parents are key advocates in communicating their own child’s needs. Inclusion specialist Sam Pollack explains how it’s easier to understand a student’s motivators when parents and schools work collaboratively. And Sue Tape from Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) shares effective communication strategies that can be actioned for classroom success.
Top five takeaways
Recognise that parents can unlock fresh perspectives around a student’s individual learning needs.
Clearly identify the student’s strengths, challenges, triggers, and the types of barriers they face in different environments, before making any adjustments.
Understand that some parents may feel their parenting skills are being questioned, so frame conversations in a clear and goal-orientated way.
Consider how families prefer to communicate, ask open questions, and ensure you provide clarification as that is the key to breaking down any miscommunication.
Appreciate that for parents the conversation around identified need in order to impute disability can trigger grief, fear, or anxiety. So, focus on communicating how additional supports can positively impact a student’s learning.
What key questions can I ask parents to understand a student’s individual needs?
What communication methods can I adopt to encourage parents to share specific information about the student?
What sort of information do I need to gather to ensure the individual learner can be successful in the classroom?
What strategies can I use to avoid misunderstandings between parents and the school?
How can I build a relationship with parents that reduces their concerns and puts student success at the heart of all conversations?
William, primary school student
Renee, William’s mum
Sam Pollack, Inclusion specialist
Sue Tape, Project Coordinator, Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA)
26-minute run time.
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