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Pediatrics – Good Grief Program


Special Education Workshop

For Special Educators, Early Intervention, IEP Teams

Strategies for Working with Parents of Children With Special Needs
When Conflict Arises

This one, two or three day workshop will be dedicated to strengthening your staff’s ability to communicate effectively with parents by giving them insights, practical strategies and language that are useful when the parent-professional relationship is challenged.

The workshop will train your staff to:

  • Predict the times when the relationship between provider and parent may be the most conflicted, such as at IEP meetings and at times of transition.
  • Understand with new depth the challenges and pain that parents face at these “touchpoints.”
  • Recognize and value defense mechanisms in YOU as well as the PARENT.
  • Experience the positive transformation that occurs when YOU communicate from a different perspective, with different language that has different meaning.
  • Reach out to promote shared decision-making that truly benefits your student.

This comprehensive training relies on Maria Trozzi’s Conceptual Model of Grief as a Catalyst for a Strengths-based Approach. 

This powerful workshop will offer insights into the psychosocial issues that affect the family of the young child with special needs; in particular, the grief “that keeps on giving” and gets stirred up at particular times in the developmental life of the child. How do you share this information with parents in a way that best prepares parents to effectively advocate for their child? Understanding the untapped “grief” and learning strategies that work, especially when communicating with parents about the child's progress and needs, will be explored. How do you transform your communication approach to one that relies on “shared decision making” when the parent appears defensive or aggressive? How do you “set the table” for success when a parent attends her child’s IEP meeting? What’s the best way to respond to a parent’s vision statement when the specialist knows that the vision is unrealistic, yet wants to make a positive relationship with the parent?
The training will employ lecture, lively discussion, professional insights, and opportunities to practice the Transformative Communication Model.
Day One
Is a six-hour day that introduces and familiarizes all professionals and para-professionals who work with parents of students with special needs to communicate more effectively with parents. With video, lecture and discussion, the participant will be able to identify new insights, practical strategies and language that are useful when the parent-professional relationship is challenged.
Day Two
Uses the second day to coach the participant to master the “transformative communication” when the parent-professional relationship is challenged. Using real-life scenarios, videos and hands-on exercises, the participant will be able to understand, consider and reframe her approach at IEP meetings, one-to-one parent meetings and her team meetings.
Day Three
Builds on days one and two to consider the foundation and theory that frame the transformative communication, coaching the participant to achieve mastery and focus attention on the initial meetings of parents, re-visiting the ‘languaging’ of giving bad news, and the leadership criteria for chairing an IEP meeting, meeting with advocates and non-educator professionals.

Contact Us

Call: 617.414.4005 or 617.921.4008
Fax: 617.414.7915

Administrative Office

Boston Medical Center
Department of Pediatrics
Good Grief Program
Vose Hall, 403
92 East Concord Street
Boston, MA 02118

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