My name is Gabriela Ibarra Ramirez and I am a school social worker with Chicago Public Schools. I have spent this academic year implementing my school change project as part of my participation in the School Mental Health Advanced Practice Program at Loyola University-Chicago. This project was born out of a desire to better support parents of children with identified special needs.
Today, we’re excited to share an RB by Ms. Dessiree Malone, a Loyola 2nd-year MSW Student who is working towards her school social work certification–her topic is an interesting study showing promising results of a home-school parenting intervention to help families of young children with ADHD.
School mental health practitioners play a vital role in the lives of children with significant disabilities. They provide social, emotional, and behavioral support and programming to ensure a child feels valued, loved, accepted, and connected within the larger school environment. Just as importantly, practitioners can play a valuable role in supporting the parents of these children. Their careful and compassionate work can help promote trusting bonds and positive effective collaboration between home and school. Understanding the grief cycle, how it may reappear at different times during a child’s school experience, and how to compassionately respond to grief-related behaviors can greatly enhance the practitioners’ effectiveness in schools.
Starting this week, we will focus on the stressors our parents experience with trying to take care of their children with special needs. First, we will ask you to answer this question over at SSWNetwork: Based on the paragraph excerpt above, how does having a child with a disability impact the parents at your school?