Many parents are perplexed and confused about the amount of information given to them during an autism educational eligibility meeting. Professionals can do several things to help the parents through this process.
Explain Educational Terms
First, many special education terms are difficult for parents to understand. Educational professionals need to explain some of these unfamiliar terms to the parent or caregiver. An educational phrase or term may need to be defined for the parents. For instance, when the school psychologist talks about verbal and nonverbal abilities he or she could give examples of these different types of abilities to explain the terms.
Use Parent Friendly Terms
Professionals need to use parent friendly terms that parents of different educational levels can understand. A school psychologist may say the term ‘repetitive behaviors’ in an eligibility meeting. However, a parent friendly approach would be to share how a child demonstrates ‘repetitive behaviors’ like running back and forth in the testing room, opening and closing the door or continuously turning the lights on and off in the office. This helps the parent see example and understand the term in more ‘parent friendly’ language.
Provide More Time
Professional sometimes find they are talking fast to get through the large amount of information on autism and developmental delays. However, there are instances where the school psychologist and other educational professionals may need to take more time to allow parents to process the educational information. Some parents want more time to read the eligibility form even after it has been explained to them. Parents may want to read the eligibility form and other forms carefully as they reflect on the information before they put their signatures on a document or sign an autism eligibility form.
There are times professionals explain the autism educational form to parents and don’t allow or give enough time for questions. Professionals can take different approaches with their educational strategies. Some educational professionals ask parents throughout the autism eligibility meeting if they have questions about the information and other professionals save time at the end of the eligibility meeting to answer any final questions. Parents want to feel comfortable about this eligibility process and providing a question time call allow them to discuss any unresolved issues or concerns about autism.
In conclusion, if professionals explain difficult educational terms, use parent friendly terms, provide more time to reflect on the process and allow questions the parents may have a better understanding of the autism eligibility process.