Occasionally, when we are not meeting for class formally, you will have an online discussion assignment.  Typically, you will be required to respond to a question, and comment upon at least two other individual responses within a specific window of time.  To respond to the discussion, simply click on the "comments" link above the post or the "add comment" link below the post and you will be able to add a comment.  Here is your first online question:

In your opinion, what role do families play for students with disabilities and how important is that role?  


Melissa Wilton
05/30/2011 16:58

As with any type of special situation at home, the parents' role is key to success. An uninvolved parent, or one that chooses to ignore the situation, not only doesn't help in any way but can many times make things worse. On the other hand, a parent who activley advocates for their child and does whatever possible to help the child succeed can be crucial to the success of the situation. This is especially true in families with a special needs child or children. A positive parent will help the child maintain the upbeat attitude that will ultimatley be crucial for educational as well as personal success.

Mark Rincon
06/05/2011 00:05

I agree with Melissa. Parents play a major role in the success of their child or children with disabilities. For a student to receive special education services, it is required for the parent to sign and agree to the statements within the IEP. It can be detrimental and cause the student not to progress if the parent does not allow for assistance. If parents want their child to be successful they need to work with the general education teacher, special education staff, and principal to come to an agreement. Also, teachers should explain to parents all processes and workflows of the identification procedure. For example, share those students maybe able to stay within the general education classroom with the acceptance of inclusion. Parents no matter the severity of the child’s disability favor the general education classroom over a specialized setting and want socialization with friends. Lastly, parents really wanted to improve their child’s academic skills and wish to see them thrive in the real world.

Michele Walsh
06/05/2011 13:04

In my opinion, the role of the family is very important and the cornerstone to how a child with or without disabilities experiences their education. As we saw through our exercises in class, how educators perceive the family members, structure, influences, characteristics and style can be very different and may impact the communication between the entities. I think the relationship educators build with the adults, siblings and the student can be very important in making successful plans, providing learning opportunities and establishing consistency between home and school. In my work experience, I have witnessed the spectrum of students who have strong family support - to students in the social services system with only professional support - to students who have intact families but don’t have much support at all for their education. In all these situations, that “family” is the key to what ends up really happening for the child and plays the crucial role in how services are put in place for the education of the student.

Natasha Ferrel
06/05/2011 16:36

Similiar to what Michele mentioned, I also feel very strongly that a child's success at school depends upon the support he/she receives from home. Clearly, a student with disabilities requires additional assistance and a committed family willing to reach out to extended family members as well as professionals within the community.

Organizations are available to help individuals with disabilities. Parents who proactively seek out such services ensure a much brighter future for their child.

Finally, supportive parents stay connected with their child's teacher, school personnel, and administration on a daily basis. Parental participation encourages a positive experience for not only the child, but everyone involved.

06/05/2011 18:34

I believe it is the role of a family to be the team that supports children in and out of school whether they have disabilities or not. As a result, the family is the most crucial aspect of success for a student's performance in school. Parents and siblings provide encouragement for a family member who is disabled and help identify the needs of this child. With the backing of a family, a student with disabilities has advocates in the school and life that can be their voice in an effort to ensure their rights are being met and proper accommodations are provided. Additionally, families can ensure that homework is completed, friendships are fostered, and positive behavior is supported. Another important aspect of a successful life for a student with disabilities is the critical support needed beyond school as the child transitions to adult life. I am in agreement with the previous post that states the importance of parent's positive attitudes that aid in their children thriving in the world. Also, mentioned above is that strong family support is the answer to ensuring educational services meeting the student's needs.

Katie Bergin
06/05/2011 19:23

Parents play many different roles for their child. This role can change as the student grows. The parent is apart of a team of people advocating and deciding what is best of the child. The parent has a major role in the decision making of the placement for the child, especially when the child is younger. As the child gets older, the parents and the child are more of a team and the child has more say in the decision. The parent's role should always be respected by professionals. Professionals should try to build a partnership with the parents and include them in the child's education as much as possible. The parent's role is very important, and they should be viewed as a equal member of the team.

Amanda McBride
06/05/2011 19:53

I have worked with several children with disabilities and in my opinion if their families had not been involved they would have had no support excpet for that at school. Yes school is important, but lets face it after school hours these individuals need support elsewhere. They need to feel loved and a family's involvement is a key component is them succeeding in all situations. The family is going to be a key advocate in any situation for these individuals, paving the way for a more successful future.

06/06/2011 08:36

Families play a crucial role in the education of a child with a disability. Parents have to be advocates for their children. If it were not for key parent advocates during the Civil Rights era then Special Education may not be the same as it is today in the United States. Parents have formed committees and groups to draft legislation and to pursue litigation for their children with disabilities. If a parent is not involved in the lives of their children then they may fall through the cracks.
I feel as an educator that it is my responsibility to assist the family with information about advocacy groups because many families may not know about the resources available to them. The more active role we take as teachers in our student’s lives will assist their families. If our positive support is felt then families will be open to our involvement and become engaged in the education of their students.

04/19/2013 05:02

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04/16/2014 10:09

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