As we enter the beginning of the school year, I want to go over my 20...
Episode #056: How To Help Parents Feel Supported On The IEP Team with Emily Estades
I always love to get parents’ perspectives but it’s not often I get to hear the unique view of a parent turned professional. In this episode I interview Emily Estades, my friend, graduate student, parent, and SLP. Emily is the mother to two children, her daughter, the oldest, has a dual diagnosis of Autism and Rett Syndrome and her son with Anxiety and ADHD. Her journey started with her daughter’s many appointments, meetings, and therapies, eventually inspiring her career as an SLP.
Prior to dealing with speech therapists for her daughter, Emily remembers speech therapy as something kids got pulled out for in the middle of class but not much else. Through attending therapy with her daughter, she got an inside look at what it really was and she began to question and learn. She feels that the time period in which they were first attending therapy with their new diagnosis was a transitional time for the profession and her initial experience was really affected by this. Everyone was working in the best interest of her child, but it felt like they were learning right alongside them. That has really influenced how she works with families now as an SLP. Trying to keep an open mind, provide support wherever she can and provide information and resources if they are wanting to learn too.
Emily really gets it as a parent and SLP. As someone who attended IEPS on the other side of the table long before she became a professional, I wanted her advice on how providers can keep parents as a vital part of the team. She had some great tips!
How can providers lead parent inclusive IEP meetings?
- Be mindful of the perspective and language you are using with the parent.
- Be compassionate and be empathetic, parents are doing the best they can.
- It is the professional’s job to build the bridge between home and school or home and therapy.
- Not everyone likes to be called mom and dad. Give them their identity, use their name or ask for their preference.
- Do not doubt parents when they talk about positive behaviors that are happening at home. Take that opportunity to learn and build rapport.
- Encourage parents to take part in the team, provide videos, write in the daily notebook, etc.
- Build rapport and be gentle. Diagnosis is only the beginning for a parent, this is the hardest thing for them to talk about.
These are some great things to keep in mind for professionals out there wanting to be sure their parents are included. And for parents, remember these are things you and your family deserve, be sure to advocate for them during IEP meetings. Emily is a dear friend and it was great to hear her perspective on this. You can learn more about her and her practice at The Inspired SLP.
Emily is the mother of a young adult daughter and a son that is in elementary school. Both have their unique needs and love to keep her on her toes! She’s also a “young” speech-language pathologist – as she has been practicing for 4 years. Emily works at a pediatric private practice in NE Ohio and also have experience filling in at local private/public school districts. She is the founder of The Inspired SLP, LLC that was established at the end of 2021. Emily is also a part of the International Rett Syndrome Foundation’s Professional Mentor Network for a program created to support The Rett Syndrome Communication Guidelines. Prior to becoming an SLP, Emily obtained a degree in art education. She loves to be creative and it definitely an asset as both an SLP and a mom!
- A unique parent perspective at the IEP table.
- Tips for professionals on leading a parent inclusive meeting.
- Tips for parents from diagnosis to advocacy.
- The parent and professional journey of Emily Estades, The Inspired SLP.
Mentioned In This Episode
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