Parents and Professionals Partnering for Children With Disabilities: A Dance That Matters (Paperback)
  • Parents and Professionals Partnering for Children With Disabilities: A Dance That Matters (Paperback)

Parents and Professionals Partnering for Children With Disabilities: A Dance That Matters (Paperback)

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Paperback 176 Pages / Published: 23/05/2012
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The authors draw upon the metaphor of "dance" to better understand the complexities and possibilities of forming partnerships between educators, administrators, early childhood providers, therapists, support staff, other professionals, and parents of children with disabilities. This revised edition of Do You Hear What I Hear? Parents and Professionals Working Together for Children With Special Needs is rich with stories, examples, and practical insights. This book, written from both the parent's and the professional's points of view, provides a developmental approach to understanding and forging positive adult relationships, while also providing concrete ways to advocate for children. The authors' years of experience as successful consultants, trainers, and educators lends this helpful resource a deep sense of realism and compassion. They remind the reader of how essential the parent-professional partnership is-and why it IS a dance that matters.

Key features include:

Practical insights and evidence-based approaches to forming partnerships

Easy-to-read, non-technical language that speaks to both the heart and the mind

Sample letters and other forms of communication shared between professionals and parents

Stories and examples of real-world conversations between parents and professionals

Effective ways to handle difficult situations

Rich with humor and heart, this highly readable book offers helpful steps for self reflection, personnel preparation, and parent-professional training. Educators and parents will find expert guidance for listening to each other's music, trying out each other's dance steps, and working toward a new dance that includes contributions from all-with the ultimate reward of seeing children achieve their highest potential.

Publisher: SAGE Publications Inc
ISBN: 9781412966399
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 280 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 13 mm

"I love this book. It helps people to truly walk in someone else's footprints. This guide will show beginning teachers and other professionals how to build successful relationships with their students' parents."
-- Natalie Marston, Principal
"If parents and professionals could wear out their shoes by dancing the way Fialka, Feldman, and Mikus describe it in this book, the shoes would indeed be worth pressing against one's heart. Through stories, the authors expertly choreograph the steps families, professionals, and the children must take to foster this essential relationship-like a waltz: one, two, three." -- Robin McWilliam, Director, Center for Child and Family Research
"This book beautifully reminds us that social change happens through listening, dialogue, and engagement. Beneath our roles as professionals and parents, these authors gently help us to remember that 'we are all people first,' and through empathy we can find ways to sidestep-or dance- around many of the missteps that lead to misunderstanding and conflict. This book is a wonderful resource for anyone trying to navigate the complexities of supporting and advocating for disabled students in inclusive classrooms." -- Emma Van der Klift and Norman Kunc, Co- directors
"A mother who found her calling through fate or accident-and never looked away or glanced back-Janice Fialka is internationally renowned for her relentless, never-say-never advocacy. She and her coauthors offer hope and wisdom for parents who would see more clearly into the lives of their children-disabled or not-and for every professional who would engage them." -- Bill Ayers, Author, To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher and A Kind and Just Parent
"Rarely does a book hold such promise for promoting genuine partnerships between families of children with disabilities and the professionals who participate in their care. The real-life passages from the authors, seasoned parents, and experienced professionals infuse this work with unparalleled authenticity." -- Susan Addison, Special Educator, Retired
"The authors get right to the heart of parent-professional relationships. They deconstruct and reconstruct the difficult process of examining how parents and professionals communicate. The stories used to illustrate specific points are superb. We need this thoughtful and provoking perspective to encourage us to listen more closely to one another for the benefit our children." -- Martha E. Mock, Assistant Professor
"This book accomplishes two impressive feats. First: it conveys, through information and examples, research-based practices for building family-professional partnerships. Second: the clear, storytelling style of writing makes it impossible to put down. This is a must for anyone whose responsibilities involve working with the families of children with disabilities." -- Pamela J. Winton, Senior Scientist and Director of Outreach
"The authors powerfully illustrate the 'dance of partnership' in complex and nuanced ways. They capture how things are in the real world of relationships between parents and professionals. The stories are moving, the perspectives insightful, and practical strategies and suggestions abound. I recommend this book as a superb source of guidance and support." -- Shari Saunders, Clinical Associate Professor
"This is a book written with a quality that is both honest and sensitive. The authors force us to put aside all other issues, reminding us what is real and essential in our pursuit of genuine student learning." -- Georgina M. Terrigno, Speech and Language Pathologist
"Having attended many challenging problem-solving meetings, I know how important it is for families and professionals to keep open hearts and minds. This unique resource moves beyond the 'how to's' of effective communication and reminds us of the values that are central to any great team-generosity, creativity, and a willingness to learn from one another." -- Paula Kluth, Consultant & Author, You're Going to Love This Kid: Teaching Students with Autism in the Inclusive Classroom
"The authors capture the range of family and provider experiences, communication styles, and strategies that create effective partnerships. This book is a critically important read for families, providers, and especially for preservice students entering professions in which they will work with children and families." -- Beth Swedeen, Parent and Executive Director
"As I read this book, I realized that I kept switching back and forth from my 'professional' hat to my 'parent' hat. Helping us to switch hats is the real power of this work. The personal stories highlight well-documented themes in the literature on parent and professional perspectives. The strategies are practical and effective. This is a text I will revisit often." -- Dr. Julie Ricks-Doneen, Director, Lowry Center for Early Childhood Education
"This is a wonderful reference book to help parent and professionals 'dance the dance' together and avoid any missteps. The authors help readers understand the underlying thoughts of both the parent and the professional when they meet to set up a program. This is a sure read for both parents and education professionals." -- Filomena Bernatowicz, Teacher and member, Committee on Preschool Special Education
"The authors waltz us through steps to develop effective parent-professional partnerships using dance as a metaphor. When practiced by all participants in the dance, the result is mutual understanding and respect: the core of collaborative relationships. Theirs is a fresh approach to a much-discussed subject-a delightful invitation to dance." -- Elizabeth W. Bauer, Consultant
"In my 15 years of teaching, I have not come across a book that so eloquently describes the sensitive relationship between schools and parents as they navigate through the special education process. Using dancing as a metaphor for this delicate relationship, the authors provide an easy-to-read manual that perfectly compliments a college class or professional book study." -- Jennifer Grieco, Special Education Teacher
"This book's valuable information and insights make it a 'must read' for everyone involved in the special education process. I will refer to this book frequently as it reminds me of the often unsaid feelings and concerns of parents. The authors provide numerous useful approaches so that all parties can collaborate and do what is best for the child." -- Jacqueline Rau, Fifth-Grade Special Education Teacher
"Brilliantly written from the differing vantage points of both parents and professionals, this book shows how perceptions and assumptions can be falsely formed between 'opponents.' Use this knowledge to develop the strong partnerships necessary for parents and professionals to collaborate and support the needs of students!" -- Kathy Brill, Board Member
"So often in special education, the people involved share the same goal, yet envision a different path to achieve that goal. The authors remind us that our ultimate goal is the same. They show us how, even in the most difficult situations, we can 'dance' together in successful collaboration." -- Tara Rounds, School Psychologist, CSE/CPSE Chairperson
"This book offers important suggestions for finding a way to dance together, reminding us exactly why we are dancing-for the child. I strongly recommend this text to parents and professionals. The real-life examples will help all parties understand and empathize with each other, making it that much easier to dance together." -- Jo Spahr, Parent of a special needs child, and IEP committee member
"The parent-professional relationship can be awkward, so using the metaphor of learning to dance together to benefit children is apt. With the resources to help children shrinking, it is more vital than ever for parents and professionals to forge strong partnerships. This perspective can really help-highly recommended." -- Robert A. Naseef, Author of Special Children, Challenged Parents
"The authors have done the near impossible-they have described the process of partnership in a way that is both easily accessible and incredibly nuanced. They provide a developmental roadmap and the concrete tools we need to make partnerships work. In this book, I have finally found the resource I need." -- Ethan Lowenstein, Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction
"The approach of this book is fresh, current and multifaceted without being complicated. The authors have skillfully woven multiple and complex family and professional perspectives into a well-integrated whole that is thoughtful, clear, and explicit. The material is relevant, useful, and extraordinarily helpful to a wide variety of dance partners." -- Camille Catlett, Scientist
"This book comes from the heart of an author who knows both sides. The content is relevant, immediately useful, and encourages us to think deeply about ourselves and how we can apply the information to make a difference-all evidence-based components of effective adult learning." -- Juliann Woods, Director
"The authors never forget that it is all about the children/students with disabilities-so the adults just need to figure it out! They include many subtle examples of how inclusion can work throughout the book. An important take-away message is that becoming true partners takes time and is a process." -- Peggy A. Gallagher, Professor of Early Childhood Special Education
"The authors help readers understand that relationships are about human needs and feelings and that partnerships only develop to their potential when each party can both share and listen to content and facts as well as the needs and feelings of the other. This book is destined to be a classic. Give it to someone you care about; and read it yourself reflectively." -- Michael Peterson, Director
"The authors of this book offer a welcomed, kind and needed message for both professionals and parents: slow the pace, stop and listen. The authors know we build each partnership one at a time. This is a message we desperately need to get into higher education and professional development communities." -- Mary Jane Brotherson, Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
"This book reminds teachers and professionals to include parents in the timeline of the special education process. The information that parents contribute and different perspective they provide can help us understand the whole child. As I finished this book, I developed a more open perspective to working with parents." -- Maura Crown, Special Education Teacher
"I will use this book as a key text in my courses that include the topics of collaborative teaching, home-school partnerships, and conflict mediation. What a great book for modeling for new teachers the realities of collaboration in the IEP process and the best practices that make the process a joyful dance rather than a difficult experience." -- Jacqueline Thousand, Professor
"Using understandable, jargon-free language, the authors help professionals and parents understand each others' viewpoints. The text also provides practical tips and suggestions about how to work together collaboratively. I highly recommend this book for novice and veteran parents and professionals." -- Stephanie Smith Lee, Former Director, Office of Special Education Programs
"I found myself nodding in agreement with virtually all the points made in this book. The process is, indeed, a dance. Although one would think we have mastered dancing, each student, each family, each day brings forth a new dance. As partners and parents we need to tweak out that uniqueness in the child together." -- Jo-Anne Dobbins, Director of Pupil Personnel Services
"This book serves as a vital resource and provides essential viewpoints for professionals. The text also reminds parents how valuable their input is to the process. In the spirit of collaboration, we highly recommend this book." -- Tiiu Presutti, Special Education Teacher, Melinda Sulzbach, School Social Worker & Adrienne Hershfield, School Psychologist

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