Monday, September 1, 2008

Aah, Reaping the Benefits of Good Communication ... Finally!

Ever notice that good, quality communication is lacking in almost everything we do and who we know: How many can raise their mouse and say they have the benefit of living and working with good communicators? Come on… no passive aggressive husbands, boyfriends, parents, siblings, bosses (Ugh, that’s worse!) to vent about? And lets not mention school districts and special education programs of various sorts … oh, won’t go there (that's another blog). But let’s face it, it’s everywhere … and it’s called dysfunction—and we all live with it and probably have trouble living without it; except:

Meghan’s school is right on the functional communication track—that’s right—I said functional!! And, thank God for that! Because I still feel like I’ve just dumped her off somewhere and said: Ha, this is hell now you raise her. “You” meaning a crew of people: Classroom teachers (and plenty of them) residential teachers, residential caregivers, nurses, doctors, specialists … you name it they’ve got it.

As Hilary Clinton once said: “It takes a village!” And I think she’s right!

Good, effective communication has got to be the hardest thing to achieve when there are so many people “in the village,” but it’s ideal at her school. At the beginning her direct one-on-one school and residential teacher (yes, two different people) would call me everyday to report in. And I would also call the residence too, just because I could! Then it slowed to once a week with a scheduled call from her residential teacher, who we’ve gotten to know very well (personally and professionally) from the calls and our weekly visits—she’s like a house mommy!

She tells me everything that happened during her week—information reported through computer and written documentation so that everyone knows how Meghan did /and is doing on any given day, while also monitoring her progress. I’m never without info …

I’ll even get a call from the lead nurse if Meghan is having a nurse’s visit (routine or unscheduled); a dentist appointment; the eye doctor; the sniffles … they’ll call just to report in and then call again to let me know how it went and how she did (like the dentist’s visit) and without missing a beat.

And as of late, Meghan has advanced to a communication device and is constructing sentences using it--a skill she could not do so easily at her other school and home ... a benefit to her speech and language specialist and classroom teachers, no doubt. Can't wait to meet her OT specialist and adaptive PE teacher ... they'll have her swimming laps like Michael Phelps in no time!! ;)

Again, it takes an effort from everyone--together--to help a (autistic) child succeed! And good communication is the heart of this effort. But this school has got a system that makes it all seem so easy!

Now that’s refreshing! The dysfunctional family that’s isn't!

No comments: