The Value of Observations

How can a formal observation by an Educational Advocate help your child?

When it’s time to look at things from a new perspective strongly consider hiring an experienced advocate with a wide-range of disability experience to conduct a classroom observation of your child. It isn’t recommended for a parent to do this because, in all honestly, your input probably won’t be considered objective  and your child won’t act their usual self with you there. The staff knows that you might be looking at things from a critical standpoint and might feel even more defensive if you are there. 

As an observer in the classroom, I would be looking at ways to tweak how things might be improved and  then will work with the team collaboratively, sharing information you both agree is worthwhile.

If you are hoping to make a case for therapy services, more service minutes, or even look more closely at how sensory or attention challenges their day it is always a good step to schedule an observation. 

An observation is especially important if you are looking for a change in placement or are generally unhappy with the current educational setting. The class dynamic, peer interactions, and the challenges of the staff should all be looked at in order to ensure the best possible placement. It may take more than one visit to get the information that will best tell you what is happening at school. 

Sometimes having the advocate go in first to highlight where the “red flag” areas are is a good first step.If you have had a lot of communication difficulties or don’t get consistent, concrete reporting of goals one way to let the school know you are serious about addressing your concerns is to take this action.