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Communication & Special Education:  Legally-Defensible Tips and Tools

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

1:00 - 2:15 EST



Erin D. Gilsbach, Esq.

About the Presenter

Description of Program:

Effective communication is essential in special education, and misunderstandings and other types of communication problems can be a quick trigger for a lawsuit.  This session identifies some of the most common communication issues and offers practical and helpful solutions.


Alphabet Soup, Anyone? –We will discuss how this situation can lead to lawsuits, and we’ll offer simple-yet-effective preventative techniques to make sure that parents don’t get lost in the lingo.


Email Etiquette – Thinking about polishing off one more email to parents before bed? Think again!  In this segment, we will identify common emailing issues that get educators in trouble, basic rules that everyone should be following, and best practices for more effective and legally-defensible email communication.


Feelin’ Hot, Hot, HOT! – Trouble keeping flaring tempers at bay?  We identify tested-and-tried ways to help everyone keep their cool, techniques for de-escalating almost any situation, and methods of spotting and preventing flare-ups before they start.  We also provide practical tips for dealing with out-of-control parents.


Working from Within – This segment offers ideas for effectively (and civilly) handling internal disagreements and discord before meeting with parents while avoiding pre-determination issues by remaining open to ideas and input at IEP or manifestation determination meetings.


Setting the Scene – IEP meetings are intended to be collaborative team processes.  In this segment, we suggest seating arrangements, room décor, and conversational techniques designed to reduce tension and encourage cooperation. 


Everybody’s Business –It happens.  A parent or community member asks a perfectly understandable question about a specific student, but you’re not sure how to answer (or if you even can!). We’ll give you a run-down on the applicable confidentiality laws at issue and provide suggestions for handling these types of situations.


Not-So-Golden Silence – In this segment, we provide pointers for engaging un-engaged parents and ideas on how to connect them.  We will also discuss ways of dealing with non-responsive parents and provide tips for documenting a parent’s lack of response

Interested in hosting this programs live at your school or organization or requesting a customized webinar or recorded training?
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