Communicate with your team

By Jennifer Lingle, M.Ed.

I know some families who have many people on their team: a speech pathologist, occupational therapist, behaviorist, teachers, music therapist, mom, dad, grandma, and the list goes on. How does everyone know what is going on with the child? Do you have some way of ensuring that everyone is on the same page?

Start a communication journal. This book can go in the child’s backpack and should be passed from one person to the next. The teacher should be encouraged to note down any major changes and events. Then she passes the book to the speech pathologist who may have some suggestions for you to work on during dinner time. Is your child going with grandma this weekend? Pass the book to grandma so she can write down any observations, and so she will know what the OT is working on with her grandson.

When everyone has access to this communication journal, the whole team will be clued into what is going on in the child’s world. You will also have a collection of data and observations that could help you in the future. You may find a pattern in your child’s behavior so that you can figure out why he isn’t sleeping at night, or why he is behaving a certain way at school. Perhaps you will figure out that every time he eats at a particular restaurant he has a meltdown. It’s amazing what you will see when it is written down in an organized manner and in one place. Work together with the people on your team!

Happy day to you!

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