AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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Building a Relationship with Parents
and Families

Honoring a parent/family member's extensive knowledge about their child is one way to begin a positive relationship with parents/families. The Organization for Autism Research has developed an array of questions that you may want to consider asking families prior to the school year:

1. What are your child's strengths?

2. What works best for your child in terms of rewards or motivation?

3. Does your child have any balance, coordination, or physical challenges that impede his or her ability to participate in gym class?

4. How does your child best communicate with others?

  • Spoken Language
  • Written Language
  • Communication Device
  • Combination of the above

5. Does your child use echolalia (repeating the last words heard without regard for meaning)?

6. Do changes in routine or transitions to new activities affect your child's behavior?

  • If yes, what type of classroom accommodations can I make to help your child adapt to change and transitions?

7. Does your child have any sensory issues that could be an issue in class or at school?

  • If yes, what type of sensitivity does your child have?
Visual Auditory
Smell Touch
Taste Other

8. What behaviors related to autism am I most likely to see at school?

  • Are there triggers for these behaviors?
  • In your experience, what are the best ways to cope with these challenges and get your child back on track?

9. What is the best approach for us to use to communicate with one another about your child's progress and challenges?

10. Is there anything else you would like me to know about your child?


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