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Parent Member Perspective October 17, 2008

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Children, school, special needs.
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One of the best ways to put your own life in perspective is by being a parent member.

I volunteer about twice a month to be a parent member in the Special Education Dept. of my school district. After being trained for the position, you sit in on the annual CPSE and CSE meetings for other children in the special needs program. Hopefully, you will be able to help the parents…if they want your input… in their decision to either accept or reject the district’s recommendations regarding their children.

The obvious benefit… after helping others, of course… is that you get to know the administrators and become more comfortable in their presence (which will make you less nervous when your own child’s meeting comes along). You get to see what services other children are getting, so you have a better idea of what to expect for your own.

And, in the unspoken world of politics, you hope that on some level…if the situation is a close call…that they will be more inclined to be generous with the services when it comes to your own kid’s meeting.

One of the hardest things about these meetings, though, is reading and hearing about each of these special children’s particular challenges. When a child is “closer to typical” than yours…or is mainstreaming faster… it can be tough not to feel sorry for yourself and your child.  Yet, when the child has even more challenges than your own, it makes you count your blessings. And you can’t cry.

If your situation can accommodate it, consider volunteering to be a parent member in your own district. It’s like community service for our own special needs community.

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Comments»

1. corematters - October 22, 2008

Yes, you gain perspective and a comfort level you didn’t have before. But I think it’s also great that the parents who come to you for counseling know that you truly understand. That may be the greatest gift you can give. Thanks for being so generous!


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