Positive Communication Strategies for Collaborating with Parents of Students with Disabilities


By Victoria W. Hulsey, Ed. D.

In order to impact students’ lives in pervasive and sustainable ways, special education teachers must build strong partnerships with their students’ parents and help them in supporting their children’s needs.  Since its inception in 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (then known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act) has had as a core and fundamental provision parental involvement. Helping parents and finding successful ways to collaborate with them must continue to be a priority for educators throughout a student’s school experience. Special education teachers must establish positive communication in order to collaborate effectively with the parents of their students with disabilities. This is especially true in the development of IEPs. This article, written by Victoria W. Hulsey, Ed. D., identifies some of the barriers to effective collaboration between teachers and parents and suggests strategies for overcoming these barriers.

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