Tag Archives: humor

Tips For Professionals

During the research phase of writing Different Dream Parenting, a resource that continually rose to the top was Judy Winter’s book, Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs. Winter also has a blog, www.winterramblings.com, where she occasionally posts resources of interest to parents of kids with special needs.
Recently, she posted these ten tips for professionals working with families like ours. They are so good, I’m reproducing them here, with Winters’ permission. If you want to pass them along, please do. But please credit Judy Winter author of Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations.

Judy Winter’s Tips for Working with Families of Kids with Special Needs 1. Remember –children with special needs are PEOPLE FIRST! Try not to define them or their families by disability. Use people’s names.
2. Avoid use of limiting labels and outdated terminology. Words are mighty powerful-be careful how you choose them and how you use them. Would what you are saying or doing would be good enough for your own child/family? Be sensitive to the fact that you are talking about someone’s child/sibling/grandchild, etc.

Watch Your Language!

I recently read an article concerning plainclothes police officers. The article said that cops are drilled on the use of clear, simple commands, such as “I’m a police officer, don’t shoot ” or “Police, don’t move.” Standard phrases are particularly important communication devices used in the world of special needs children. As a teacher and as a parent, how you use language is just as important as what you are saying. The list of do’s and don’ts is growing. “Don’t” in and of itself is a word that shouldn’t exist when communicating with preschoolers, special needs or otherwise. Children rarely hear or process the word ’don’t’. They often tend to eliminate the word. If you say, “Don’t touch the CD’s,“ they will invariably touch the CDs “Don t go near the window,“ and you know that is exactly where they‘re headed.