Talking to Others

The role of paraprofessional requires good communication skills. The need to effectively communicate with students, teachers, families, and administrators will be a part of the job. In these communications it is important to use "People First Language." Paraprofessionals may also find the need to help parents become effective communicators about their children.

People First Language

The language and words we use to describe others has a profound impact on the images our words create. People first language recognizes that when talking about people with disabilities we need to put the person first and the disability second. Two resources to help you adopt People First Language:

Strategies to Help Parents Communicate About Their Children

Most parents like to talk about their children. Parents enjoy discussing their child's latest achievement or funny antic. But when their child has a disability the discussions may seem, at times, somewhat awkward. While other parents are bragging about their child's first steps, a parent whose child has a disability may be wondering whether their child will ever walk. How do we help parents adjust to and talk about having a child with a disability?  How do we assist parents to adequately and effectively communicate their child's strengths and challenges? How do we help them to envision and share the hopes and dreams they have for their child?

Following are some strategies you can share with parents as they talk about their child.

Helping Parents Communicate About Their Child

Helping Parents Deal with the Emotional Aspects of Learning their Child has a Disability

Contact Us

Johnna Darragh-Ernst

Professor Early Childhood Education

1500 W Raab Road
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-268-8746

Email: johnna.darragh@heartland.edu