Research consistently shows that parental involvement is one of the most important predictors of student postsecondary success. School programs can make parent and family involvement easier by treating them as education partners and empowering them with knowledge (Mazotti 2021).
The reason isn’t hard to figure out. The Vermont Family Network sums it up nicely: “Families are often the first, most knowledgeable, and most consistent ‘case manager’ youth with disabilities have.” Partnership with parents should be front and center.
Here are some practical suggestions for involving parents in their child’s education:
- Ask for parents’ input about the student’s strengths, preferences, interests, and needs.
- Invite parents to share their social and business contacts to facilitate career exploration.
- Provide hospitality when parents wish to observe in the classroom—drop the fear of scrutiny.
- Coordinate with parents to follow up with skill building, especially soft skills, and goal setting at home.
- Review the resources below.
- Intervention in School and Clinic: "Strategies for Engaging Students and Parents in Transition Focused Individualized Education Programs."
- IRIS Center: Family Engagement
- Ohio State Family Engagement Center:Partnering with Families Through Special Education
- Vermont Family Network: Parents as Partners in Transition Planning Process