Talking to Parents About Special Needs

Find out what information parents of children with special needs want to share with other parents in the program, and how they would like to share it. Parents may have questions about how they can talk to their own children about their classmates with special needs, or have misconceptions that need to be clarified.

You may encounter a range of responses from parents of children with special needs, often related to where they are in the process of learning and accepting that their child has special needs. Some parents may want to speak to other families on their own, and can do so informally at pick-up and drop-off times, or they can set up a more formal time to meet with other parents. Some parents may want to visit their child's classroom to talk with the children about their child's special needs, and help answer other children's questions. Other parents may not feel comfortable with staff sharing any information about their child with other parents. Parents' wishes need to be respected when it comes to this issue. Initially, sharing information may be difficult, but as relationships develop among the caregivers, children, and families, it may become easier.

Just as staff members have fears and concerns about working with children with special needs, some parents may be worried that their children will be adversely affected by having a child with special needs as a classmate. It is important to provide them with accurate information that will ease their fears. Reassure them that you are committed to providing quality care for all of the children, and address their specific concerns to the best of your ability.

Page last updated: Aug 26, 2013