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Meeting Families' Basic Needs

How we can assist the families of our students by directing them to support systems

Allison Crane

on 14 November 2011

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Transcript of Meeting Families' Basic Needs

Basic Needs We have learned students with high levels of self-determination are much more likley to achieve success after they move on from our education system, but teaching them self-determination is a newer concept. This is why we need to educate ourselves, our students and their families on this topic. Below is a great article outlining the key points (it's not long!!) http://www.unco.edu/cetl/TracyMueller/Transition/selfdetermination.html When a family trusts us, and is willing to share their needs with us, our communication often becomes a key part of their quality of life. As teachers, special education teachers in particular, we become aware of tons of services and programs from which they can benefit. We need to keep those lines of communication open in order to KNOW who we can put them in contact with, in order to assist them... and, in turn, assist our student. There are a million neightborhood resources we can direct our families to. There are many federal and state aid programs to help financially. We are usually fairly well-aware of those. Sometimes overlooked resources are the support programs to let the families know they are not alone. Our book talks about LYDC (Love Your Disabled Child). Here, my family participates in TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) and Best Buddies. Attached is a link to a friend's daughter. Their whole family participated in a 62 mile bike ride for Best Buddies, raising money and awareness for their daughter Macy. Programs like this give families the opportunity to feel empowered, while bonding with other families going through the same experiences. http://www.hpchallenge2011.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=422413&supid=328944130 When we have families who are trying to get assistance from Social Security (SSI), it is key that we are both prompt and thorough when providing the requested documentation. I would always send a letter as well, letting their case worker feel free to contact me if they needed anything further. Delays cost the family money - money most often used for groceries, transportation and incontinence supplies. We must be cognizant of the importance of our expediance. Individualized Budgeting in HCBS allows the individual to make choices based on what is important to them and what they value. This exercises both their AUTONOMY and allows them to feel PSYCHOLOGICALLY EMPOWERED.
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