Working With Teachers – A Guide for Parents … by Anna Tullemans

In her books Anna Tullemans embraces a common sense approach to teaching/advising the reader.  Working With Teachers is no exception.

Parents may perceive working with teachers as fraught with difficulties simply because the different parties have differing needs and expectations from the schooling process.  Anna suggests that effective communication between parents and teachers is imperative to successful outcomes for the Autism Spectrum student.  Productive communication leads to collaboration and with the latter, all challenges can be resolved.

Anna emphasises issues that may arise when parents work with teachers, then suggests strategies to negotiate the obstacles that prevent positive educational outcomes for the student.

I like the way Anna apportions equal value to parents and teachers.  Teaching the autistic child can be a challenge to the teacher who has thirty odd other students – and some of those with additional needs – in her classroom.  Being the parents, it is easy to assume that we have the greater value because we love the child and have a far greater stake in the outcome of his schooling.  But in giving equal value to both parties, Anna is fostering trust and cooperation.  A trusting partnership ensures challenges can be averted or effectively dealt with.

Anna suggests how to build an effective parent/teacher partnership.  Furthermore, she touches on a strategy to adopt if valued communication fails.

Parents of newly diagnosed children will find this 50-page book very useful.

Book review by Rhonda Valentine Dixon