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Q&A With Dr. Barry Prizant

Our October webinar “Family Collaboration: An Essential Element for SPED Success” with Barry Prizant had one of our liveliest Q&As to date. And it’s no wonder, with 1700 special educators who registered! We received many requests to post Barry’s answers, and are happy to oblige.

Click the questions below to jump to Dr. Prizant’s answers:

  1. How do you manage appropriate family collaboration in light of large caseloads and short schools days?

  2. What processes between early intervention programs in school districts have been successful to continue parent involvement and could build on the strategies that were previously presented by the early interventionist?

  3. How are the issues of family engagement different for families with children with special needs compared to those families of children who are developing more typically? Would you use different strategies? Would these strategies apply to students who are going to a private school as opposed to a public school? Do these approaches work across groups or is they specific to special education?

  4. What is the best way to encourage and motivate parents to get involved and to carry over what it takes to help the child and to take what’s going on in school and take it into the home?

  5. As classrooms continue to get more and more diverse, with lots of different languages being spoken, different cultural backgrounds, different kinds of socioeconomic backgrounds, lots of different kinds of family structures, it seems like it presents some serious challenges for family collaboration, especially when there is a language barrier and the family doesn’t speak English. How do we best manage families of many cultural and linguistic backgrounds?

  6. How can we help parents to understand that more services are not necessarily better services?

  7. What Do You Do When a Parent Demands Services a Child No Longer Needs?

  8. How can professionals support the parent who is really not ready to hear the diagnosis for their child, who is kind of in that denial stage?

Dr. Barry Prizant is a clinical scholar, consultant, researcher and expert on childhood communication disorders. His new book, “Uniquely Human: Seeing Autism Through a Different Lens” is scheduled to be released in August, 2015 by Simon and Schuster. To contact Dr. Prizant for a consultation or workshop in your district, visit

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