Demands and rewards of parenting children diagnosed with ASD

Description For this assignment graduate candidates will interview 3 parents about the demands and rewards of parenting children diagnosed with ASD. As candidates interview parents, please use the questions provided and remember to be gentle, compassionate, and professional. Candidates may want to take notes or record interviews to help as they complete part II of the assignment. Additional questions may be used as candidates interact with parents. After the interviews, graduate candidates will write a reflection essay synthesizing and analyzing the experiences shared by the parents and the impact of these experiences on them (candidates) as special education professionals. Guidelines

Part 1: Interview Identify three parents who have a child identified w/ASD; candidate’s goal is to interview one parent from each of the following categories: Birth-5, 6-12 years, and 13-18 years old. Inform parents that this assignment is part of your Graduate work in SpEd K-12 and designed to assist you in becoming a better educator in meeting the needs of the children you serve through understanding the experiences of parents of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, thus providing a firm foundation of support and collaboration. You may also ask to voice-record interviews for accuracy in summarizing and writing your reflective piece. The following information must be gathered for each interview: Background First name (only use the first name) of parent being interviewed Marital Status – number of years Age range of parents / age of child / grade placement / services received Place of interview Persons present Your relationship to parent interviewed (i.e., colleague, current child’s teacher, church member, neighbor, cousin, etc.) Transcript of questions and responses – use exact answers where possible (see chart in Part 3) In your own words describe your experiences with your child’s school system (i.e., diagnosis, screening, assessment, IEP Meetings, curriculum development/design, setting (LRE), transition, communication, ABA, etc.) Beyond the day-to-day business of extra doctor appointments, therapy sessions, and IEP meetings, describe ways family life is challenged by having a child w/special needs. As a parent of a child diagnosed with ASD, what are your educational fears? Have any of those fears materialized? If so, please elaborate. What are/were the 3 biggest challenges of parenting a child w/ASD? What are the 3 most positive aspects of parenting a child w/ASD? What in your opinion is the most important thing educators need to know regarding a child with ASD and its effects on family dynamics? Part 2: Reflection Essay Graduate candidate will synthesize and analyze the information garnered from 3 parent interviews into a reflective essay written in narrative form. Essay Components: Introduction – includes student background information, parental information, and overview Body – sectioned and appropriately headed/labeled with (6) discussion statements/questions. This piece should summarize the answers in your own words. You may compile duplicate responses for the sake of being concise. Writing the essay in narrative form allows the student to tell the story from his/her point of view; therefore you may use “I” but do not abuse it. Reflection – Express how ASD may interact with development and learning from parental point of view. Discuss how family background influence the learning of individuals with ASD. As a special education professional, based on your understanding of development and individual differences, how will you respond to the needs of parents of individuals with ASD? What did you learn from this activity? What do you see as the benefits to educators? What are the “negatives”? /Did you find this assignment worthwhile? How (if at all) will this impact the way you interact with your students? Does this impact the way you will communicate w/parents in the

#instructions 6/8 future? Conclusion – As a special education professional, discuss the impact of collaborating with parents to promote the well-being of individuals with ASD across a wide range of educational settings and among other service providers. Students will include all handwritten/typed notes taken during interviews to support authenticity of project. Charts will expand as you type, please submit one per parent. Parent Information Chart Parent’s First Name – age range (i.e. 25-30) Marital Status – number of years Age of child / Grade3 placement / services received Place Interviewed Persons Present Relationship to Graduate Student