Where to Find More Information DoDEA Special Education Series
The DoDEA Parent’s Guide to Special Education includes a The complete series of brochures and other resources for
list of Internet resources on this topic and many others. The parents of students with disabilities are available on the DoDEA
guide can be downloaded at the Department of Defense special education website at http://dodea.edu/instruction/cur-
Education Agency (DoDEA) Special Education Home Page. riculum/special_ed/index.htm.
Special Education Brochures
Sites Especially for Military Families
For more information about Exceptional Family Member 1. Pre-referral Interventions: Steps Before a Special
Program (EFMP), visit www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/efm Education Referral/Assessment
and click on “EFMP,” speak to a Special Needs Coordinator
at your local military treatment facility, or visit one of the serv- 2. Moving: Things to Remember When Relocating
ice-specific Web sites listed in the “For Information and
Assistance” section. 3. Communicating Effectively: Building a Strong Partnership
Military OneSource - A Master’s-degree consultant is available
to provide help with concerns related to children with special 4. Individualized Education Program (IEP): Your Role in the
needs 24 hours a day. Translation services are available in Process
most languages. Call 1-800-655-4545 (in US and overseas).
http://www.militaryonesource.com 5. Related Services: Understanding the Purpose of these
Systematic Training for Military Parents (STOMP) pro-
vides information, training, and assistance to military families
6. Early Intervention Services: Transitioning to Preschool
who have children with disabilities.
Services for Children with Disabilities
Other Important Sites 7. Transition: Planning for Life After High School
Technical Assistance Alliance for Parent Centers - 8. Parent Rights and Responsibilities: Insights into Your
Locator to find state parent training and information centers
and links to scientifically-based research, national informa-
Rights and Responsibilities
tion centers, and IDEA. 9. Resolving Disputes: Your Role in Reaching Resolutions
http://www.taalliance.org Building a Strong
National Dissemination Center for Children and Youth 10. Assistive Technology: Assessment, Devices, and
with Disabilities - Clearinghouse of information about special
education and specific disabilities, summaries of key topics
Available Services Relationship
and points of contact in each state.
Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) -
Portal to resources related to IDEA, the law, national technical
assistance providers, state/ local organizations and agencies,
and the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). a publication of the
U.S. Department of Education - information on special
education, parent involvement, education research, laws and
Non-DoD informational references are being provided as Education Directorate/Student Services Branch
required by IDEA but their inclusion in this material does not 4040 North Fairfax Drive
constitute any endorsement by DoDEA. Arlington, VA 22203-1635
Communicating Effectively Building a Strong Relationship
Effective Communication Skills what you think you heard are actually one and
the same. Strive for clarification at all times when
One of the strongest predictors of success in discussing your child.
school for students with disabilities is the active Another active listening tool used by skilled
involvement of parents in their education. It is communicators is reframing. This requires a bit of
crucial that you build the skills necessary to practice, but can easily be mastered. To reframe
effectively communicate your child’s educational a statement, take a pause and restate the issue in
needs. As the parent, you already understand a more positive way. Think about how to restate
many of your child’s strengths and challenges. the problem in a way that does not place blame,
Learning how to be a good communicator will and avoid using words like "always" and "never."
help you establish strong partnerships with the Reframing can reduce tension during a confer-
professionals who serve your child in school, and ence and make the situation more manageable.
model for your child how to be an effective This helps to ensure the conversation moves
advocate. continually toward finding positive education
solutions for your child.
Preparing for a Meeting
Putting your thoughts down on paper prior to Building a Strong Partnership
a meeting can help you to be better organized. Effective communication brings people
The time you take to do this will be well spent by together. The most successful partnering
helping you to stay focused and get the informa- ensures that both parties share accurate infor-
tion you need during discussions about your mation and use it in a constructive way. Here are
child’s education plan. Here are some pointers to several tips for finding and strengthening part-
help you prepare for a meeting: Statements read aloud during a meeting and
information submitted in writing also can be nerships through effective communication,
added to your child’s personal file. This will help which can make all the difference in helping your
• Write down the purpose of the meeting
others reviewing the file later to better understand child be successful in school:
• Think about the points you would like to
make and jot down some notes your perspective.
• Be firm, friendly and fair in stating your
• Clearly define your questions and concerns
• Be specific about what you want for your Listening with Purpose • Practice repeating and reframing tech-
Sometimes, listening to what individuals are niques.
• Say what you want, rather than what you
reporting about your child’s problems in school • Model trust and respect for your child
may be uncomfortable; however, you can develop as well as for the teachers.
• Offer a time frame for a reasonable
skills to keep the lines of communication open. • Clarify and articulate your expectations.
Successful communication begins with active • Work to build bridges toward solutions.
• Review what you have written
listening. Listening attentively and with an open • Share your expert knowledge of your
• Bring your notes to the meeting, and keep
mind to other’s perspectives, experiences, and child.
a copy for your records
priorities provides you with a broader understand- • Acknowledge past experiences that may
• Have a friend review your notes with you
ing of your child’s abilities and needs. have been difficult.
and consider practicing your points before
A useful strategy to use during conferences is • Be sure to have a clear understanding of
to repeat what was just said. This allows you to what’s in your child’s IEP and keep
clarify a point and ensure that what you heard and asking questions until you do.