Nothing positively impacts student achievement more than family engagement in their child’s school and educational process. Moreover, because educational planning for a student with autism addresses a wide range of skill development, family involvement in that process is particularly important in helping students develop the skills and abilities for success in school, and beyond.
Here are just a few of the benefits of encouraging positive relationships between a student’s family members and school staff members:
- Teachers can connect classroom activities to a student’s interests, experiences, and culture. When presented with information and activities that interest them or that they can relate to, a student’s attention, participation, and motivation increase. Additionally, incorporating students’ cultural traditions into classroom activities can create a multicultural education experience for the benefit of all students and staff.
- Family members and staff identify accommodations and supports to increase student success. Families can offer insight about supports that have worked well in prior years, and those that have not. Sharing of ideas and experiences also encourages a consistent use of effective supports (organizational systems, use of fidgets, frequent breaks, reward systems, alternative seating, etc.) between home and school.
- Family members and staff encourage in each other high expectations for students. For students to achieve their potential, teachers and parents/caregivers need to have high expectations. Having high expectations means believing every student can learn. When a student is struggling, you try new ways of engaging them or new ways to help them. You demonstrate with words and behavior, encouragement, support, and enthusiasm.
As Linden Grove School explores options for growth, also included in its 2020-2023 Strategic Plan are strategies for ensuring the continuation of quality instruction and supports for students, including maintaining strong relationships with parents and retaining dedicated, compassionate staff.