top of page

Advocating for Your Child

 

Finding a Health Professional

It can often be an overwhelming experience finding a health professional, whether your team consists of one or five health professionals. It is important to feel welcomed and find someone that will align with your family’s values and priorities.

An effective team involves developing trust and requires skills including communication and collaboration. When finding a health professional, it is helpful and encouraged to ask questions prior to starting out, to ensure you are finding someone who will meet your needs and be a good fit for your ‘dream team’.

You may find some of the following questions useful:

  • Will I be involved in the sessions?

 

  • How do you communicate and collaborate with my child’s team (health professionals and education team)?

 

  • How do you provide feedback?

 

  • What ways can you support us as a family?

 

  • What therapy approaches do you use?

 

  • Will I be involved in goal setting?  How will we know if your approach is working? 

  • How do you support generalisation of skills?

 

  • What does a typical session look like?

 

  • How do you ensure a consistent and efficient service delivery?

It important to provide feedback if you find something is or isn’t working for your family. Let them know what has worked for your family in the past and what hasn’t.

 

Providing feedback allows health professionals to change their approach, ensuring your family is feeling supported and receiving a service that will be effective for your child.​

 

Requesting a Team Meeting

What is a team meeting?

 

A child’s team is everyone involved in supporting your child, including you!  As your child's parent or carer, you are the Team Leader.   Team Meetings ensure that information about your child is shared within the team and everyone is working in collaboration.  Ideally, everyone who works with your child attends these meetings.  For example:

 

  • Occupational Therapist;

  • Speech Therapist;

  • Psychologist;

  • Teachers;

  • School Support Staff/Aides 

  • Paediatrician; and

  • Anyone else who works with your child.

 

 

Why are team meetings so important?

 

Communication, collaboration, and developing relationships between the team of people working with your child can be really beneficial. It can give you the opportunity to: 

 

  • Provide information and feedback regarding your child's development and the focus at school and therapy. 

  • Get up-to-date information and feedback from different therapists so we can work  in collaboration and have a shared approach;

  • Share strategies that work (or don’t work!);

  • Set common goals; and

  • Ensure that there is a consistent approach across all environments.

Who should organise a team meeting?

 

Parents / carers can organise team meetings as they know who is on the team and they are usually the best ones to advocate for their child. You can always ask one of the team to chair the meeting if you are not comfortable doing that.  You can allocate a team member to to take notes and summarise action points.  These should be distributed to the team.  

How can I accommodate everyone’s schedules and find a meeting time that works?

 

There are many websites and Apps that can help everyone to find a common meeting time. One of them is ‘Need to Meet’ at https://www.needtomeet.com/how-it-works . You can put in suggested meeting times, tick people on your contact list to send the invitation to and, once you have the responses, it’s then easy to send out the meeting confirmation time. 

 

I would like to arrange a team meeting.  Where do I start?

 

  1. Make a list of everyone that you would like to be involved in the team meeting and make sure they are in your list of contacts on your phone or computer;

  2. Send them a message or email to let them know about the upcoming meeting e.g.

 

Dear [your teacher/therapist],

 

I would love for everyone that is working with [your child] to have a meeting together online so that we can share information, feedback, goals and strategies for this year. I will be sending out a [Need to Meet or other App] invitation with possible times to meet.

 

Could you please complete this and send it back, and I will contact you to confirm a time for the meeting and send you a Zoom link. 

 

Thank you so much, and I look forward to seeing you soon,

[your name]

 

  1. Use the meeting App to find a common meeting time;

  2. Organise a Zoom meeting at that time, and send the time and the Zoom link to everyone on the team. Also ask them if there is anything in particular that they would like to talk about in the meeting.

  3. Put together an agenda so that you cover the things you want to address. This may look like:

    1. A brief parent introduction and outline about how things are going for your child, and sharing any relevant new information;

    2. A brief introduction from everyone; who they are, what they do, what they are currently working on, and what they love most about your child;

    3. Questions that they may have for you (or for each other), and any shared concerns;

    4. Brainstorming strategies and specific language that can be used to address those concerns so that everyone can have a consistent approach.

  4. Organise for someone to take notes (if you are not happy to do it yourself)

  5. Have the meeting, and forward the notes to everyone on the team.

 

What is the suggested frequency of team meetings?

 

We recommend that team meetings are held at least twice a year.

 

It is always important to remember that parents are the most important people in a child’s life, and no one knows them better or cares more about them that you do! You are by far their best advocate. So, if you think that a team meeting will be beneficial for your child, please go ahead and organise it.  Your Spark OT looks forward to meeting the team!

Anchor 1
Requesting a team meeting
bottom of page