To follow up on my last post, 4 Tips to a Good Team, I thought we could talk today about how to know if your child is currently in good hands.
I know my son currently has a great, supportive and friendly team. He hasn’t always had a great team. So how to tell the difference?
Good team recipe
- Open communication
- Child likes going
- Child isn’t clingy at hand off
- Good updates
- Listens and compromises
- Good feeling about it
This should be pretty basic. You should feel comfortable greeting these people, weather it be your child’s teacher, bus driver or ABA therapist. You should be able to ask questions about your kid’s progress or how their day went and feel like they like your kid when they talk about them.
Your child likes going & isn’t clingy
Your child doesn’t have to love school or therapy every single day, but in general your child doesn’t hate going. Also, you’re child in general likes who they are being in trusted with. Heck, their tech, aid, or teacher might even get a running hug sometimes!
Good updates & they listen
These tie in with good communication. Your child’s team should be keeping you updated on your child, they should be having meetings or parent trainings regularly with you. If you feel uncomfortable with how your child is being taken care of, your team should be very open, understanding, and should want to make sure you feel confident with their care. They also need to promptly follow through with your concerns and not put you off. You know your child best.
A good feeling
Your gut instincts are so important and are there for a reason. Don’t ignore your feelings and judgment. If you’re not sure, you can give it some time and try to get to know a place or person. But if you get a big flashing no, jump up and say so! Advocate and protect your little one, that’s your job.
It’s a bad setup
- You don’t feel respected
- You don’t feel listened to
- Constant fight to go
- Child refuses handoff
- Left in the dark
- Defensive to ideas
- Just doesn’t feel right
Respect and listening
If your child’s ABA therapist, dr, or OT acts like they know best or don’t care what you’re saying, that’s a red flag. My son had an ABA therapist who insisted that holding my son down and shoving unwanted food in his mouth against his will was the most humane option to teach him to eat new foods—- NOPE 👎
If your child hates going every time, tries to hide behind you when they see staff coming for them, or cries every time at drop off. Something isn’t right and your child is trying to tell you this. My son went to an integrated preschool and every morning when the aids came out to take the kids with autism to class EVERY child started to cry— BIG NOPE 👎
Left in the dark
If your kid’s team is hard to get a hold of, if they seem to busy, or rushed, or are avoiding you, that’s a red flag. If your child’s therapist or teacher wants to try a new approach but doesn’t tell you about it until weeks later, that isn’t ok.
Defensive or doesn’t feel right
Your child’s team should be open to your concerns and ideas. If they act personally attacked or offended often, it’s not a good match. And if your gut doesn’t feel right, there is probably a reason. If you feel guilty, worried, upset every time you drop off your kid with a teacher or therapist…. there is probably a reason. Do not ignore your parenting instincts!
Early intervention is an important piece for success to a child with autism. Each step of the way is important though too. As parents and caregivers it’s important to know we can trust our child’s team.
Right now Mr. L has a fantastic team with a great teacher, ABA therapist, techs, aids, psychologist, caseworkers, and other therapists. It takes time to build a tribe, but it’s worth the effort. Our family is currently working on transitioning Mr. L to his brother’s school and it’s nice to know we have so much support in this big change!
Do you like your child’s team? Do you have other red flags you watch for? Let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to like and share 🌼