Working with Parents of Children with Additional Needs Cover

Working with Parents of Children with Additional Needs

Helping educators respond appropriately to the child and their parents

This book will equip early years educators with the basic information they require in order to respond appropriately to the child and their parents. The emphasis is on helping the child to participate as fully as possible in the curriculum, on equal terms with their peers.

The book has been designed to complement the principles, practice and learning outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework, and the goals, capabilities and learning outcomes of the National Curriculum. It will inform, support and inspire educators by:

  • explaining the benefits of parents becoming active participants in their child's experience
  • providing insight into the concerns parents with children of additional needs may have and how you can overcome these together
  • giving practical advice on how to improve communication, confidence and trust between the early years setting and parents
  • advising on how to give parents appropriate and timely support
  • giving an insight into the perspective of parents through lots of quotes and tips
  • showing how to maximise a child's early years experience by working together with parents in a partnership

Ages: 0-5 | Pages: 60 | Code: TS0262 | ISBN: 9781921613753

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Picture of Anne Vize

Anne Vize

Anne has worked as a special educator in a variety of settings, and holds a Masters degree in Special Education. Her experiences include teaching children and young adults with intellectual, learning and physical disabilities as well as behavioural challenges which make attendance at school a challenge.

As well as teaching classroom literacy and numeracy, Anne has worked as a teacher of sport and recreation and has taught within the Professional Writing and Editing course at Chisholm Institute.

To date she describes her most challenging and inspiring teaching moment as being deciding to take a group of teenagers with varying disabilities including autism, attention deficit disorder, intellectual disabilities and behavioural issues to Sydney from Melbourne in a minibus to watch the 2000 Paralympic Games — driving and camping for the whole five day trip!

A previous recipient of a Queen's Trust scholarship award to visit New Zealand and Fijian special education settings, Anne is committed to constantly updating and extending her skills into new and diverse areas of writing and education.


About this book5
Working with parents and the EYFS framework7
Culturally sensitive family-centred support8
What are ‘additional needs’?8
How many children have additional needs?9
Inclusion – benefits for all9
What’s it like to be a parent of a child with additional needs?11
Parents first and foremost11
A different future11
The emotional journey11
Receiving a diagnosis12
Unmet concerns14
Coping mechanisms14
Learning new skills15
Time pressures16
Sharing the positives17
Journey to acceptance 17 Empathy not sympathy18
How can we help?18
Each child is unique19
Creating a sense of fun19
Seeing the child first20
Child-first language20
A child-centred approach21
Communication passports and chat books21
Benefits for everyone22
Peer support23
Being different, fitting in22
‘I can see my child here’23
Including everyone24
Healthy risk-taking25
Risk assessment25
Therapy programs26
Communication skills26
Starting at an early years setting27
Diverse needs, diverse concerns27
Planning ahead28
Getting the right support29
Home visits29
Health care and action plans30
Special equipment30
Toilet training31
Visits to the setting32
Settling in32
Building positive relationships33
Getting to know parents and carers35
Mutual respect 35 Family dynamics36
The role of siblings36
Arranging meetings37
Professional boundaries39
Bumpy times40
Receiving a diagnosis40
Children with no diagnosis41
Listening to parents42
Telling others42
Showing support43
Taking a break43
Conflicting views44
Raising concerns44
When a child is in hospital44
Life-limiting conditions45
‘Pushy parents’46
Effective communication47
Building common ground47
Making time47
Honesty first and foremost48
Parents’ reactions48
Communicating with parents in a range of different ways49
The transactional model of communication49
Making the most of meetings50
Avoiding jargon50
Body language51
Moving on52
Making decisions52
Transition to school52
Finding the right school53
Useful resources54