Parent/Speech Therapist meetings are a chance to celebrate and to collaborate with the families of the children we are seeing.
Welcome/ Invite/ Observe/ Listen: create an environment that is welcoming and encourages a conversation.
I like your meetings to have a sandwich effect: Start out very positive with some very personal connection with the student. Talk about the goal that you had for your client, talk about progress and give recommendations and then end again in a very conversational way in a positive (ex. great to work with you etc.)
Here is a sample that a student wrote in a previous semester.
Positive: Patty is an intuitive young girl who asks questions which better help her to learn. She asked the clinician about how her mouth was moving demonstrating that she was looking for visual cues. She internalized everything that the clinician told her and her production drastically improved.
Goals: Patty’s goal was selected based on the speech evaluation that we received. Although the clinician who evaluated her suggested that language should be targeted, it was determined after informal evaluation of her language abilities that auditory discrimination and articulation would be a more beneficial target with the time constraint.
Progress: Patty met and far exceeded her goal. She benefitted from visual models like the Mighty Mouth finger puppet as well as motivating articulation activities.
Recommendations: Articulation of initial /s/ at the phrase level and auditory discrimination tasks should continue to be implemented. Further assessments should be completed next semester to determine additional targets.
Positive ending: Do you have any questions or concerns? It was such a pleasure to work with you and Patty. I appreciate that you did the homework with her as that assisted her in learning her sound.
Don’t read from your progress report but rather engage in a conversation. You can have notes or visuals that you might want to share with the family but try to make sure that you give good eye contact.
Parents want to know that you liked their child and that you knew the child as a person and not as a disability. They want to know what you worked on ( goals) and how their child did this semester both in what was successful and what might continue to be a problem. They may have questions about what will happen next or what more they can do at home for their child. Some of the families you might want to give some ideas for homework.