Working with professionals
Often a child with additional needs, regardless of their condition, may be getting support from a number of different agencies or professionals. Parents often feel like they are being pushed from one place to another.
Being informed helps when dealing with professionals, so we've prepared some tips to help you feel in control when discussing your child's needs.
Tips to help you work with professionals
- Keep a diary to record your child's development, things they find difficult, what causes anxiety. This helps when talking to professionals.
- It helps to hear other parents' experiences. They can provide information about local services and tips to negotiate the system.
- Build good relationships with professionals who are involved in your child's support.
- Remember, all the professionals you speak to are humans too, often busy and working to guidelines within a process they cannot control.
- Even if you have concerns, don't go in "all guns blazing". Be clear about what you want to see changed and how you think they can achieve it.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions about anything you don't understand - you might find it helpful to write your questions down in advance.
- Try and take someone with you to meetings, perhaps a relative or a friend. They can calm you and take notes on what was said and agreed.
- After a conversation on the phone or face to face about your child, it is a good idea to follow it up with a letter or email summarising what was said.
- Make time to do things you enjoy with your child and the rest of your family. Above all, look after yourself.