Talking To Parents
It can be difficult to speak with families when you have concerns about their child's development, but all the evidence indicates that early intervention gives children the best outcomes. Teachers play an important role in picking up and addressing concerns.
Start off with genuine, positive comments about the child. It's important that the family know you see their child's strengths as well as any difficulties they are having.
Ask the family for their observations first. Often parents and carers already have concerns, but aren't sure if they are relevant or evident to anyone else. Careful and gentle questioning will allow the parent or carer to share their observations and concerns. Then you can follow with your concerns.
Sometimes, communication difficulties may be more prominent at home, while others are more prominent at school or in group situations. So keep in mind that communication difficulties may be more apparent to you as you see the child under different and sometimes, more challenging situations.
It may be helpful to approach the issue by saying you just have some concerns, it may not be anything to worry about, but would be best to get an assessment by a Speech Pathologist. Avoid jargon or diagnostic labels — the use of these terms can lead to unnecessary worry. Simply emphasise that this is an area that needs to be looked into.