The relationship between parents and professionals is most effective when they
work together to help nurture and develop the child's quality of life.
However, there can sometimes be tensions in the parent/professional relationship where, for example, parents feel that professionals:
- Do not understand what it is like to look after a child with complex needs, or
- Are unwilling to acknowledge parents as experts in their own child's care.
Parents often know more about their own children than the professionals that their children see. Professionals usually have particular expert areas of expertise, while parents are expert on the minutiae of their child's behaviour - such as their feeding or sleeping patterns, what they like and/or dislike, etc.
Another issue is that professionals may sometimes work with individual pupils but ignore the social context. They look at how the child can be changed rather than, for example:
- The changes that others can make, or
- The services that support the child and how these might be improved.
Choose a pupil with complex needs in your class. List the professionals that work
with the child and what their roles are.
How is their input coordinated? Are there any areas in which this could be improved?
How do you ensure that parents are fully involved too? Are there any areas in which this could be improved?
How much is the child involved? Could he or she be involved more?
What steps do you need to take to improve this aspect of your practice?