IMPORTANCE OF WORKING WITH PROFESSIONALS AND FAMILIES IN SCHOOLS

According to Holmes (1993, p. 15), the attachment development theory is
one of the most significant psychoanalysis philosophies. It is
integrates meticulous scientific empirical data and subjective evidence
of psychoanalysis. This philosophy has had significant influence in
social work, psychiatry, child development, and psychology. The research
asserted that the relationship of children with their parents determines
the way kids relate with teachers and their peers in an academic
environment. Children with close relationships with their parents, or
caregivers, from the initial stages develop confidence that enable them
to concentrate on their academic environment. On the other hand,
children with poor relationship with their parents are insecure and
unsure of themselves. They have challenges in studies because they are
not able to focus on their studies. Kagan (1999, p. 166) contends,
“Although empirical data affirm that parental behaviours and
personality traits influence the child’s talents, motivation, academic
performance, and social behaviour, their influence is part of a larger
web of conditions.” The researcher identifies factors such as peer
relationships, ordinal position, relationship with teachers, and innate
temperamental status as additional factors that may influence
relationship development of children. In The team around the child:
Multiagency working in the early years, Siraj-Blatchford (2007, p. 94)
adds that the impact of parents and caretakers becomes more critical for
children with special education needs (SEN). These children require
combination professional and caretaker assistance to develop their
confidence, and help them focus on education. This study hypothesises
that efficient collaboration between parents and professionals at school
can improve academic performance of children with special education
needs.
Common Assessment Framework (CAF)
In the early development of children, it is challenging, for both
professionals and parents, to identify whether their children have
special education needs. This is because they might appear normal, but
they have academic challenges that make them unsuitable for studying in
a regular classroom environment. The CAF integrates parents and academic
professionals’ effort in identifying challenges facing children. The
framework is a four-step process designed to help in identifying the
requirements of young children, and then developing suitable strategies
to combat the issues. Skouteris, Watson, and Lum (2012, p. 42) assert
that this process is voluntary. These researchers claim that CAF becomes
essential in case practitioners such as social workers, teachers, and
health care officers are worried on the development progress of a child.
For example, they might observe anomalies on the children’s
behaviours, health, learning process, or any other development problem.
Conversely, the parent of the child can report a problem to their
children’s professionals. Lastly, a child requires a CAF process in
case their needs are too broad or complicated than a practitioner is
addressing. This implies that parents can initiate the CAF process, or
professionals can identify the need of using this strategy in addressing
the needs of children.
The first step in developing a CAF structure is determining whether a
child does have some special needs. Hiatt-Michael (2005, p. 33)
proposes, “Identify whether a child/young person has extra
requirements using CAF pro-assessment checklist.” The pro-assessment
is a list of prepared questions that help professionals to compare
habits and performance of children, and then determine whether they need
special care. Second, children often evaluate the needs their children
are suffering through gathering and analysing data concerning
information on pros and requirements of using CAF. The third process
involves addressing the identified problems using devised integrated
methods of addressing the problem (Garber 2010, p. 44). Professionals
develop suitable intervention techniques, which are some cases, trial
and error. The last phase normally involves reviewing progress of the
proposed technique.
Parenting in the 21st century
Parenting styles have evolved drastically over centuries. This implies
that modern parents often have more issues to worry about their children
than ever before. Anxiety dominates contemporary parenthood. Most
parents are continuously worried concerning their young ones’
personality development, physical health, academic performance, and
psychological well-being. Parenthood is full of diverse forms of fear
from birth until adulthood. Gasper (2010, p. 41) claims, “Parental
anxiety about children`s well-being is not a new development, but
parents` concerns have taken dramatically different forms over time.”
He explains further that mid-nineteenth century parents were mainly
worried about their young ones’ moral development, health, and
religious piety (Holmes 1993, pp. 74-76). However, late 19th century
parents were predominantly concerned about the psychological and
emotional fitness of their children. In the twentieth century, the
concern shifted to their children’s gender identity, their capability
to socialise with peers, and personality growth. Presently, the
uncertain and guilt-laden parents agonise that their young ones will not
experience excessive school pressures, boredom, or low self-esteem.
Sources of learning influence
The ability of children to perform well academically is determined by
numerous factors, including, their attachment to parents. This implies
that parents should dedicate attention to the learning process of their
young ones so in order to help them improve their learning process. The
academic background of children determines their academic performance
and social characteristics. According to Fitzgerald and Kay (2008,
p.11), some children perform well socially or academically, or both,
depending on family background. The researcher connects excellent
performance of children to Mary Ainsworth’s Theory of Attachment.
Holmes (1993, p. 27), contend, “Children whose caregivers are
available and responsive, as compared to those who are not, are expected
to develop positive expectations about others and be better equipped to
apply relationship principles such as reciprocity.” This implies that
children, who are raised by present and receptive parents, often, gain
self-esteem and confidence that enables to perform well academically.
High self-confidence helps children to interact with their peers and
other academic professionals at schools (Hiatt-Michael 2005, p. 114).
Parents should strive to develop good relationships with their children
because their association with children does influence their
relationship with their young ones. Ainsworth proposed that parents
should nurture good relationships with their children in order to
improve their learning capability.
Siraj-Blatchford (2007, p.29) claims that continuous communication
between parents and children nurture an excellent environment that
enables children to acquire trust and confidence with their caregivers.
As the children develop, they learn to explore their environment and
trust other people.
Similarly, Sigmund Freud developed a child development theory that
emphasised on the relationship of parents and their children as a factor
that can influence learning attitude of children. According to Garber
(2010, p. 11), Sigmund Freud emphasised on childhood experiences and
events, which could later make children, suffer from mental conditions.
Freud described a child development in phases that he called
“psychosexual stages.” He outlined the development stages as
phallic, oral, anal, genital, and latency. The theory states that each
growth stage entails satisfaction of a given libidinal craving. In case,
a child fails to undergo a given phase successfully, they later
compensate for this anomaly through fixation (Siraj-Blatchford 2097, p.
51). Fixation affects both children and adults. For instance, when
children undergo the latency phase successfully, children develop social
values, relationships, and social skills with adults and peers outside
their family ties. In case, a child does not complete this phase, they
are unable to forge good relationships with teachers and other children,
which in turn make it challenging to learn (Siraj-Blatchford 2097, p.
59).In addition, John Bowlby suggested that early relationship with
their children influences their development and learning capability.
Children’s relationship with their parents determines their ability to
relate concentrate and associate positively with their tutors.
The strengths of involving professional in educating children with
special needs
Many children with special needs require tailored education programmes
in order to understand the concepts of a subject effectively. This makes
it essential for parents to seek assistance from professionals such as
social workers, educational psychologists, psychiatrists, nutritionists,
paediatric physicians, teachers, physiotherapists, dyslexia counselor,
teaching assistants, speech and language therapists (SaLT), and
physiotherapists. One of the strengths of seeking assistance from these
professionals is that they help in creating all-inclusive learning
programmes that help to make every child feel safe, valued, and accepted
in an academic setting . The professionals gradually evolve the
curriculum to meet defined requirements of children with special
education needs.
In addition, these professionals give children with special education
needs to access equal benefits to their counterparts with no special
requirements. For example, children affected by verbal dyspraxia or
English as a Second Language (ESL) may require extra lessons in order to
help them understand content taught in a classroom better. The
collaboration of education professionals and parents improves the
well-being of their children by giving them a rich foundation for their
future. In some cases, these professionals do develop individual
learning processes (IEPs) that are customised to meet personal needs of
given students (Fitzgerald & Kay 2008, p. 219). Individualised
programming is created, with the intention, to satisfy the requirements
of students suffering from extreme cognitive disabilities that cannot be
met in the standard curriculum fields of self-help, behavioural/social,
and communication expertise.
Moreover, professionals are capable of determining children who require
specialised care. In many cases, parents may fail to identify whether
their children may require specialised care. However, the professional
assistance comes handy in determining whether a child does require
professional assistance (2012, p. 22). This makes it essential for
parents to seek assistance of professionals every time they suspect that
their children may require specialised care so that they can tailor a
treatment programmes that can help to overcome certain learning
weaknesses such as comprehension, communication, and reading.
Improving children’s benefit through professional-parents relationship
efficiency
According to Cheminais (2009, p. 19), parents are valued partners in
academic performance of their young ones. This implies that they should
be involved in making critical decisions that influence their lives with
that of their children. Children can benefit from effective
professional-parent relationship through opening up about their
children. This will enable both parents and professionals to develop an
effective solution for addressing the needs of the child.
In addition, children can benefit from the parent-professional
relationship if they can meet often to discuss children’s affair. In
the meetings, parents report their observations on improvements and
deterioration to the education professionals. This information helps
teachers and other special care experts for children to improve the
programme in a way that it will suit the children efficiently (Trodd &
Chivers 2011, p. 6).
Moreover, co-operation between parents and professionals is essential
for it helps them to come up with suitable learning programme to
children, depending on their observable behaviours. Garber (2010, pp.
22-23) asserts that when education professionals and parents are
co-operating, children benefit from better education programmes. This is
because parents will learn, from the education professionals, suitable
strategies they can use to improve confidence of their children at home.
In some cases, parents are unable to give appropriate care to their
children with special education needs because they lack relevant skills
(Trodd & Chivers 2011, pp. 22-24). This makes it necessary for parents
to co-operate with academic professionals, so that they can acquire some
experience that could help them improve the quality of support they give
to their children.
In John Bowlby and attachment theory, Holmes (1993, p. 59) contends that
professionals coping with children with special education requirements
should work closely with parents in order to determine the cause of the
problem. In some cases, some challenges such as English as a Second
Language (ESL) challenge, is straightforward issue that professionals
can solve independently. However, complex issues such as poor
concentration and children’s resistance to interact with their
colleagues are complex problems that may require detailed research in
order to uncover underlying reasons that could be hindering children
from learning effectively (Skouteris, Watson, & Lum 2012, p. 69).
Every family has unique social and cultural background that might affect
the attitude and behaviuor of every child distinctly. Involving parents
in developing of individualised learning programmes for their children
can help to strike a balance between a child’s cultural values and
education requirements. On the same note, parents are able to learn new
strategies and support skills that can assist them to enhance the
welfare of their children (Skouteris, Watson, & Lum 2012, p. 97).
Nature of multi-agency working including the legal framework and
national guidance
In order for schools, dealing with children with special needs, to
achieve suitable results, the management of the institutions requires
working closely with professionals, community members and families of
the children. Cheminais (2009, p.8) claims that multi-agency partnership
is crucial because it encourages integration of expertise and skills in
the school curriculum thereby, deterring barriers and improving value
addition in the learning process.
Both school leaderships and teachers should co-operate with virtuous
leaders and other desirable pacesetters in the community to ascertain
that their children are well behaved. In addition, creating a strong
legal framework can help in directing morals of children for it creates
a strong connection between children and the community. Moreover,
government and corporate members should be involved in the development
of special education programmes so that they can provide extended
support to children with special education needs (Gasper 2010, p. 210).
Children feel valued and secure when they receive support from
multi-agencies hence, they are able to improve their academic and other
values in a community.
Fitzgerald and Kay (2008, p. 9) claim, “Well-defined legal framework
and national guidance can help to enhance education standards of
children because the customised learning programmes are supposed to meet
a given standard.” These researchers further assert that co-operation
of families and professionals help them to understand their economic,
social, and political environment surrounding the school. Education
experts have approved the establishment of education standards for
children with special needs in order to control quality of the
programmes (Kagan 1999, p. 33).
Family structure past and present
According to Mary Ainsworth and John Bowlby, the family background of
children significantly affects their development process. This implies
that children with special education needs may require unique treatment,
depending on their family background, in order to gain maximum benefits
from these education programmes. Ainsworth’s theory of attachment
asserts that the development environment of children influences both
their present and past lifestyles. Hiatt-Michael (2005, p.34) emphasises
that when families take part in developing and implementing special
education programmes , students are at better positions, to excel
academically. This is because education professionals are capable of
learning the children`s history, plus nature of their present
environment, and then devise a suitable learning programme that would
suit their academic needs perfectly (Bornstein 2012, p. 204).
The role of interdisciplinary teams on working
Cheminais (2009, p. 69) proposes that professionals and families should
work closely in solving problems and making critical decisions
concerning academic welfare of children in need of specialised care. The
main function of interdisciplinary teams is ensuring the academic
programmes used on children with special education requirements meet
given quality specifications. Interdisciplinary teams ensure that
professionals providing specialised education are qualified and follow
standard teaching guidelines.
On the other hand, interdisciplinary teams ensure parents and
professionals work within recommended ethical standards. These teams
help in ensuring parents and professionals taking care of their children
are in good terms. In case of a conflict, or disagreement on education
programme that should be used on given children, interdisciplinary teams
are responsible for settling the differences (Cummings, Todd, & Dyson
2007, p. 84). Moreover, these teams offer extended support to families
with children who require special education in order to help them meet
their needs.
The ethical dilemmas in working with learners and their families
Providing specialised treatment programmes to children is sometimes
challenging since professionals require acquiring permission from the
children’s parents. In addition, some parents are not willing to share
background information about their children. Garber (2010, p. 97) claims
that children’s learning ability, social skills, physical health, and
academic excellence significantly depend on their family background.
Nevertheless, many parents shy away from revealing their past and
present family atmosphere that they raise their children (Cheminais
2009, p. 27). Lastly, it can be challenging to identify children who
require special education needs as well as, developing a suitable
operation programme, Professionals follow a tedious process when
designing a learning programme for children in need of special
education.
The ethos and organisation of learning support settings
According to Skouteris, Watson, and Lum (2012, p. 55) reports that
co-operation of professionals and families can help to improve the
quality of education and performance of their children. Individualised
treatment programmes make children feel adored and safe in the learning
environment. This has in turn improved concentration school attendance
and positive performance of children with special education needs
trained in a specialised programme, Moreover, children with specialised
academic needs often have them effectively addressed when they involve
professional services (Hiatt-Michael 2005, p. 114).
Conclusion
Incorporating professionals and families in the learning curriculum of
children with special needs are critical since it helps to improve
academic performance of such children. Throughout the evidence analysed
in this essay, various researchers have supported the hypothesis of in
this study. This means that efficient collaboration between parents and
professionals at school can improve academic performance of children
with special education needs. Moreover, this study evaluation has
outlined the advantages of incorporating special care providers in
developing and implementing customised academic programmes to children.
It also outlines effective strategies that can help to deliver effective
learning results. Finally, the study has outlined diverse reasons that
make children’s needs evaluation and parental attachment crucial
improving quality learning thereby, enhancing academic performance of
children. Moreover, this essay has outlined other valuable factors that
curriculum planners should consider when developing the education for
special education children such as effective negotiation and
communication skills.
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