WNY Family Magazine July 2018 - Page 53

profit, or private employees?  How can you find a person’s name? 3. Know your rights and responsibilities: What are the rules? Learn about them by:  Exploring websites  Asking how the service is funded  Asking to see laws and policies  Asking questions  Joining a group 4. Become well organized: What is my plan of action?  Keep records.  Put it in writing.  Keep a phone log.  Have a meeting notebook. 5. Use clear and effective communication: What do I say when it’s my turn?  Keep your eyes on the “prize” – the right service for your child.  Listen and ask questions.  Focus on the needs of the child.  Problem solve together to find solutions.  Speak clearly.  Avoid making people feel defensive.  Turn negatives into positives.  Summarize. 6. Know how to resolve disagreements: What do we do when we disagree? Informal Process: Talk to people first. Work your way up the “chain of command.” Formal Processes: Mediation Complaints Appeals Parents Can and Should Be firm but optimistic Recognize professional knowledge Resist quick fixes Expect change, but not miracles Don’t wait, but don’t panic Ensure everyone’s role is clear, and that someone acts as case manager/team leader Be realistic and reasonable in your quest for growth. This article has been provided by Parent Network of WNY, in cooperation with the Public Relations Committee of the De- velopmental Disabilities Alliance of WNY (DDAWNY). Parent Network offers many workshops free of charge for families of individuals with disabilities. For more information call (716) 332-4170, email info@parentnetworkwny.org or visit parent- networkwny.org. July 2018 WNY Family 5