Forming Parent and Professional Partnerships It is a common belief that families and professionals must plan and work together as a team to insure that children with disabilities use AAC meaningfully in their daily routines. However, this belief is difficult to translate into real life situations. Families and professionals are often frustrated with the ... Article
Article  |   November 01, 1998
Forming Parent and Professional Partnerships
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Janet Sloand Armstrong
    Central Instructional Support Center, Harrisburg, PA
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Articles
Article   |   November 01, 1998
Forming Parent and Professional Partnerships
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, November 1998, Vol. 7, 7-9. doi:10.1044/aac7.4.7
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, November 1998, Vol. 7, 7-9. doi:10.1044/aac7.4.7
It is a common belief that families and professionals must plan and work together as a team to insure that children with disabilities use AAC meaningfully in their daily routines. However, this belief is difficult to translate into real life situations. Families and professionals are often frustrated with the outcomes of planning. Families don't feel their needs are adequately addressed. Professionals feel families expect too much or are “unrealistic.” Most important, children are not afforded meaningful opportunities for active involvement in their home, school, and community.
The term “partnership” is often used to describe how parents and professionals should work together. Webster's defines a partnership as “a relationship ..involving close cooperation between parties having…joint rights and responsibilities” (Webster's, 1980). This definition has many components that describe the desired outcomes of parents and professionals working together. Some of these key concepts are:
  • A relationship—this word implies that it is a partnership that is developed over time, not a quick occurrence.

  • Close cooperation—these words convey the idea that both parties add their perspectives to the AAC plan and they must work together for the common goal of meaningful communication.

  • Rights—this word conveys the idea that all parties have the right to be respected, valued, and listened to.

  • Responsibilities—this word is especially important since it helps us realize that we—families and professionals—are in this together. Each team member is responsible for making the partnership work.

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