The Parent’s Dozen – supportive wisdom for the school journey

This list of 12 tips was developed from DDWA's experience supporting parents to advocate for their child in mainstream schools.
  1. Trust that your child is trying to make things work and to grow as a person
  2. Every meeting is a solutions opportunity
  3. Notice what is working, commend it to them and then promote to other members of the school team
  4. Don’t worry about too far ahead – especially for what is outside your control
  5. Expect people with new and contemporary thinking in unexpected places, anywhere in your school
  6. Stay flexible, as change can happen in both directions – good to bad to good 
  7. Holding high expectations for Inclusion (against exclusion) helps others to do so too
  8. Good, or adequate, communication between home and school is part of every child’s safety plan and insurance against crisis
  9. Standing up for kids is part of the parent role and doesn’t need apology or forgiveness
  10. A child’s school journey is a parent’s non-stop negotiation, so have a team – don’t carry it alone
  11. A child has a Citizen’s right to access a good education and you have a parent’s right to argue for what you know they need
  12. Look for independent advocacy if you need to escalate the pressure or feel blocked or dismissed

Written by Maxine Drake

You might also like to read “Thriving in Regular Schools”. This resource is a collection of the information shared during the Thriving in Regular Schools Project in 2019. Running for 12 months, the project delivered a series of Workshops to families to share their experiences, and engage in conversations about choosing Regular Schooling for their child with intellectual disability.