Chapter 12: Communicating with Parents and Professionals

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Notes and Concepts



Chapter 12 focuses on effective communication and making and maintaining professional relationships with general classroom teachers, special education teachers, and specialists such as school psychologists, speech/language and occupational therapists, and school administrators. Parents, the most effective agents for change, and their special needs are also presented. Strategies for how teachers can facilitate genuine and continued involvement of parents in their children's educational programs are shared.

Look for the following key concepts/ideas as you read:

principles of communication

interviewing skills

working with parents

working with professionals

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Part 2: Study Questions

Effective communication skills are the basic needs in working effectively with parents and other professionals.


Read Chapter 12. Use the following questions to guide your reading and find meaning in this chapter:

  • Describe principles of good communication. Explain mutual respect and trust, plain language, acceptance, effective listening, effective questioning, providing encouragement, keeping the focus of the conversation directed, and developing a working alliance.

  • Summarize effective interviewing skills for special education teachers.

  • Explain why special education teachers need to be sensitive to parents' concerns and to speak honestly about the child's problems.

  • Describe how special education teachers can work productively with parents and fellow professionals to provide effective help for the special education student.

  • Outline the role of the special education teacher in an effective mainstreaming program.

  • Discuss how to guard against the potential barriers to successful mainstreaming.

  • Explain how to gain the principal’s interest and involvement in developing a model special education program.


When you finish studying this chapter, please go to the class interactive pages and take the self test for Chapter 12.


Go to Part 3- World Wide Web Resources

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World Wide Web Resources



Examine the following World Wide Web links and consider their perspectives based on information from Chapter 12.
Circle of Inclusion Website
The Circle of Inclusion Website is for early childhood service providers and families of young children. This Website offers demonstrations of and information about the effective practices of inclusive educational programs for children from birth through age eight.

The National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities
This center provides information on disabilities and disability-related issues. The focus is on education and children and youth ages birth to 22 years.

PACER Center
PACER is a wonderful Website for families of children and adults with disabilities. This site addresses parent training and information centers.

Parents Helping Parents (PHP)
Directory of parental resources, parent and professional training opportunities, and information on Kids on the Block.

Home-school Collaboration
This article from LDOnline presents ideas for home-school collaboration reinforcing ideas for good communication and work between parents and teachers.


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