At the Kidz South conference, Scope Early Years Training Manager Jackie Logue gave a presentation called Parent Support to help professionals who work with disabled children to:
- understand the needs of parents and the wider family through diagnosis and beyond
- learn more about breaking down barriers between parents and professionals
- recognise the importance of valuing the child
Through diagnosis and beyond
Jackie, as the mother of a daughter with complex needs and as a Portage worker, has seen the relationship between parents and professionals from both sides.
What parents mean when they say they are "fine"
- Fed up
- Emotional exhausted
Breaking down barriers between parents and professionals
Parents and professionals, Jackie said, often want the same things but sometimes they are at cross-purposes.
- Turn up on time for appointments
- Cancel if you can't attend
- Ensure family understands what is said at meetings
- Do you check parents understanding of your role and what you can do?
- Do you always pass on information you promised to get them?
Tips for professionals working with families of disabled children
- Keep an open mind
- All children are unique
- Share information sensitively and honestly
- Carry out your promises
- Little things count
- Encourage parents to ask questions
- Be prepared for conflicting views
- All parents/carers are different and will want different things
- Ask what information they want to know and in what format
- Take time to listen
- Don't judge
- Be honest, be positive
Jackie Logue is Scope Early Years Training Manager and the author of Working with parents: Of Children with Additional Needs (Inclusion).