School-family communiction in early childhood special education
Gregg, Katy Lauren
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When a child with disabilities transitions into kindergarten, parents and professionals alike are faced with communicating their concerns and goals for the child. Often these concerns are expressed as weaknesses within a deficits-based framework. Thinking specifically about Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, a family and educational professionals reflect on the struggles associated with communicating in parent-teacher relationships. The use of a strengths-based, family-created portfolio titled, Take a Look at Me™, is examined as a tool for family involvement in the IEP meeting and as a communication strategy for reconceptualizing a child and family in terms of strengths and motivations. Findings indicate that the portfolio is seen as a useful tool by parents and educational professionals, helping parents feel comfortable communicating who their child is and presenting the “whole child,” in terms of strengths, over focusing on just the disability.