Communication with Teachers
By Pathfinders for Autism Resource Center
How daily communication will help everyone:
- Parent: Children with autism, even those who are verbal, do not tell their parents about their school day. Regular communication between home and school enables parents to help their children with difficulties and celebrate their successes.
- Teacher: When parents don’t know what is happening at school it is too easy jump to the incorrect conclusion that nothing is happening. Informed parents can reinforce learning at home. They can provide you with positive feedback that the child “got it” when you thought he didn’t have a clue.
- Child: Obviously benefits from the teamwork and the opportunity to generalize learning to an additional setting. The child will do better if everyone is using similar language and reinforcement.
2. Figure out before hand just what information you need. (Ex. Did he eat lunch? Use the toilet? Request help?) You may not care that they glued leaves on paper on a particular day, but it may be important to know if there was a fire drill or other major interruption to the schedule.
3. Let the teacher know that you appreciate how busy her day is. Ask her how she would prefer to communicate with you. Possibilities include: telephone call, check list (yes/no or circle 1-5), communication log. You both might agree upon a combination, for example a written log on Friday listing what skills they will work on the following week, along with a daily 3 question yes/no checklist. She may be willing to let an instructional assistant provide some of the communication.
4. Uphold your end of the agreement. If you have agreed to let the teacher know about events at home, that might impact school performance, be sure to do so.