How to build a parent-teacher relationship and work together for your child’s success at school

Teachers are an integral part of your child’s life. Keeping an open line of communication with your child’s teacher is vital to his development and academic success. Below are some tips for getting started and maintaining a positive parent-teacher relationship that benefits your child.

Introduce yourself.

When you meet your child’s teacher for the first time, let the teacher know that you’d like to set up a system of regular communication. Make it clear that you would like to form an effective partnership to help your child with autism succeed. A routine exchange of goals, methods used, progress and concerns about your child will help you and his teacher form a bond centered on your child’s well-being.

Find the best method of communication and stick with it.

Teachers are busy and often overloaded with responsibilities. Ask your child’s teacher how he or she prefers to communicate. If you let your child’s teacher choose what’s most convenient, you’re more likely to receive consistent communication. Agree whether emails, written notes, a daily log, phone calls or in-person meetings work best.

Plan ahead.

Before a meeting or written exchange, take the time to think through your specific needs, concerns and questions. Ask about your child’s favorite subjects, current trouble areas and interactions with classmates. Ask what the teacher would like for you to work on at home with your child. Keep the teacher informed of any major changes in your child’s home life.

Respect the teacher’s point of view.

No one knows your child better than you do. But your child’s teacher gets to see him in a unique way. If your child’s teacher has ideas or has had success with positive reinforcement, be open to incorporating those at home. If the teacher reports problems are occurring in the classroom, work with the teacher to troubleshoot what could be triggering these issues. Share what has worked for you in the past.

Present a united front to your child.

Your child should be aware of your regular communications with his teacher. He should know that you are working together and understand that you are a team. This way he will know that there are the same expectations at school and home. With you and your child’s teacher working together to provide consistent expectations, your child will continue to have opportunities to grow and succeed at school.

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We recognize that every child is unique and that the content of these articles may not work for everyone. This content is general information and is not specific medical advice. We hope these tips will serve as a jumping-off point for finding the best approach to helping a child with autism. Always consult with a doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about the health of a child. In case of an urgent concern or emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department right away. Some physicians and affiliated healthcare professionals on the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta team are independent providers and are not our employees.