There seems to be an issue that has been an ongoing conversation between me and the Head Start Teaching Team. How do we get parents “onboard” with getting their child assessed for learning disabilities, developmental delays, or other issues that may affect learning? This is not an easy topic to begin with. As professionals and educators, we feel the need to address growth and developmental concerns immediately with families so the children may get the assistance needed. Not all families are willing participants and open to professional suggestions of this magnitude. The phrase “he or she will grow out of it” does not always hold truth. Parents don’t understand sometimes, the sooner issues are detected and addressed the greater the probability the child will benefit from the intervention or assistance.
The subject of Individualized Service Plan (I.E.P.) is not an easy topic. The Head Start Team often brainstorms various approaches to use to talk with parents. The direct and formal way of pulling the DECA’S, ASQ‘s, and other assessment tools utilized is not always helpful and convincing to some families. What are some approaches that have worked in the past that differ from what I have described? How do we as educators bring the families “onboard” with getting the child assessed, ISFP, or even to open up to want to be an advocate for their child’s well- being and growth and development? Does culture play a role in the family’s willingness to advocate for their child when it comes to dealing with developmental issues, special needs, or behavior concerns?
I would like feedback to explore the various approaches or concerns that you as educators and professionals have experienced.