Meeting with a disability professional
We have already equipped you with tips on the things you need to prepare during your first plan meeting with your Local Area Coordinator for your child’s plan, but what about your meeting with your health professional who will be managing your child? Meeting with them requires a detailed assessment and expect that there will be a lot of questions that you need to answer. It will require time as they need full and accurate information about your child and his/her disability Here, we have listed tips that will help you and your child during your first meeting.
Before the meeting:
Gather all pertinent documents that include information about your child’s disability such as medical records, feeding behavior, and the likes. Your personal records about your child will come in handy too like what are his/her interests, pet peeves, mood swing, triggers
Make a list of your questions as well as your expectations to the professional like your preferred way of communication, how do you go about contacting him/her when you have urgent concerns or issues with your child, are there any home activities you can do in conjunction with your child’s therapy sessions
Take someone with you as another family member so that you have support with you
Bring your child to the meeting-doing this will trigger initial rapport building with your child and the managing health professional. If you think your child is a bit difficult to manage in public areas or meetings, flag him/her ahead to set expectations or maybe do something about it prior to your actual meeting
What to expect during the first meeting
The health professional will have a short introduction about him/her and what he/she does and his/her objectives for your child.
Ask questions like -what the day is like for your child, the usual routine, the challenges encountered, the challenges you encountered, how you manage the challenges, other risk factors that may pose danger to your child, other services your child is using, other supports your child is getting
Give you the opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns about the treatment plan for your child -like what are the next steps after the session
Talk to your child separately and gain insights
Establish rapport between you and your child
Provide you with a service agreement
Some will provide you with home activities you can do with your child in conjunction with the treatment plan
Some will provide written information about everything that has been discussed during the meeting
After the first meeting
Soon after the first meeting with disability professionals, it’s a good idea to take the following steps:
Ask for a follow-up appointment -this is important so that whatever challenges you and your child are facing during the early stage of the treatment plan, the health professional will be able to arrest the challenges at an early stage and may suggest things that are needed to adjust. This will also come in handy when your child receives a new diagnosis, this will be a great opportunity to discuss the situation and how to deal with it.
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