The ways in which a student receives additional services from their school system has changed much over the last 20 years. In fact, the common place things that special education and related service providers talk about freely today were barely a whisper then. Things like autism, auditory and visual processing issues, and language-based learning disabilities weren’t even a discussion then. But here we are today, grappling with terminology, mapping it to treatments and therapies, and trying to contain it all and spit it out into a language that the average parent can understand. It’s complicated and often frustrating for all, especially the student, when all parties related to their education are not working together in a way that makes a real impact.
How can a parent and all the special education and related service providers that go with a child with nuanced learning differences collaborate around one student in ways that make sense, taking into account the hectic schedules most people have these days? Does anyone have any spare time out there?
Special Education And Related Service Providers Need Parental Input
Oftentimes, it is the service provider chasing down parents for information about a student, particularly when something new is happening with the student’s behavioral development and emotional responses:
- When did this start?
- What does this look like at home?
- Are there other ways the student is expressing this emotion/behavior at home?
- How do you handle these challenges at home?
- Are the strategies being used at school implemented at home?
- Are the strategies working?
"To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe." -Marilyn vos Savant
There are so many questions special education and service providers have when a child has a change. Gathering this information can be a task in itself. When your student comes into your office and tells you about something new in their home environment, it often leaves the service provider wondering how this is impacting home life and how it could impact the school environment for the student. It’s a good time to have a long discussion with the parent, but when?
Email and Phone Calls Are Not Enough To Get The Right Information On Time
There is much lost in translation when it comes to email. Hesitations in answering questions, caveats that come with responses; you don’t get any of that in written form. At the same time, what you lose when you pick up the phone is the entirety of the conversation. Your conversation with the student’s parent is only as good as the notes you took while you were talking on the phone. If you forgot to write something down, it’s as good as gone.
Other times, emails come a lot later than they should. Special education and related service providers are usually only reaching out to parents when there is an issue. The email that could have come from the parent weeks ago is now only coming to you in a response to what was initiated by yours. Strategies are only as good as their ability to stop something before it becomes a worse situation than what started. Critical information sharing and real-time collaboration needs to happen if the student’s demonstrable positive outcome is going to be achieved. We set goals when we formulate IEPs, wouldn’t it be great to track them with the parent in real time throughout the year?
eCare Vault Is What Special Education And Related Service Providers Are Hungry For
So, we need to do more and we need to include the parents in more meaningful ways. Is there an app for that? Actually, there is. eCare Vault is the first secure cloud-based solution of its kind to be created specifically for that purpose. Imagine an online collaboration session with not just the student’s parents but every professional who provides services to the student for educational, behavioral, and/or psycho-therapeutic needs? It may never be possible to get this tribe around a conference table for IEP discussions, but now you can get real-time feedback and input whenever you need it.
Improving your student outcomes are as simple as arming yourself and your student’s educational care team around one place to communicate and involve the parents. It’s what special education and related service providers have been searching for. Now it’s here. Find out how eCare Vault can do more to improve your student outcomes today.