The phone rings first thing in the morning, just as she pulls up in front of the office. The independent educational consultant (IEC) looks at her cell phone and notes that it is “that” mom again. This is the third call this week. Now what could the problem possibly be? Her first reaction is annoyance, but then she takes take a deep breath and thinks again as she answers the call.
As IECs, we have all had this experience. Clearly parents are a factor in our work, whatever our specialty area; however, for consultants who work with students with learning differences, parents can often be a handful. We have adopted colorful, descriptive labels for them...
No matter what types of parents come through your door, however, they share the same goals as parents of neurotypical children: they want their child to be happy and independent and fear that he or she may not succeed. They put their hope and trust in us, so we must avoid labels and treat them respectfully, positively, and with fresh eyes. Seeing beyond the labels allows IECs to more effectively bring parents on board in the college planning and preparation process and guide the family to the best result. Ultimately, they know their child better than anyone and they want to be heard and validated. They’re tired of being judged and hope to find a professional who really understands their child.
Sharona Sommer, Director of Family Service, College Internship Program
Kyle Kane, IECA (SC)
Joan Wittan, IECA (MD)
Published in IECA Insights Magazine Member to Member - February March Issue.