There are a number of factors that will drive this process but a key fundamental is time. Give yourself as much as possible and try to avoid rushing any step.
It is helpful to have a starting vision of what you want as a final outcome. Fundamentally this will be the child’s picture but your input, guidance and development is vital. I also found it really helpful to share this with professionals, family and friends and used their input to help create what’s right for your child.
Creating the Vision
For the transition to primary, we used a person centred planning approach. This was facilitated by the educational home visiting team and was great for helping to articulate what we wanted school to look like.
Person centred planning does what it says on the tin and puts the individual at the centre of the process. Using input from the individual, their family and others involved in their care and development, either a pathway to the future or a map of how the present was reached is created. You do need a facilitator and someone to record the outcomes. Here and here are a couple of links that explain the process in more detail.
It’s amazing how well the process can work and incorporate the views of everyone. E was still at nursery when we did it but managed to give her input. She drew what school meant to her and asked her older cousin and a friend already in P2 to help her with it.
It’s important that you harness the skills of everyone in creating this vision. Not only will they all be involved with the implementation of your vision, but they bring expertise and experience that may be outside your own current knowledge. Someone described the inclusion as three legged stool with education, therapy and home being the legs. All the legs need to be in balance for inclusion to work.
That vision is still used to drive the discussions at school review meetings today. The focus is less on individual attributes and more on the broader headings from the plan such as
friendships, learning and skills.