Planning meetings are an essential part of your child’s school program and could involve several people who come together to make key decisions about your child’s learning needs. These planning meetings will be held throughout the primary and secondary years of schooling. The aim is to work with the school staff to ensure the best possible program is in place for your child. There are many interchangeable acronyms for planning meetings, which have the same outcome, which is to develop an Individual Learning Plan or an Individual Education Plan.
The following are the most common names:
- SSG – Student Support Group
- PSG – Program Support Group
- ISG – Individual Support Group
Who can attend these meetings?
- Parents/Caregivers/ Parent support person
- Principal or nominee, Teacher
- Multi-disciplinary staff (if applicable)
- Student (if applicable)
What is the purpose of these meetings?
- To share your knowledge and the teachers’ knowledge about your child.
- To identify your child’s achievements and any concerns you or the school might have
- To set priority learning goals that will build on your child skills through a plan that sets achievable goals
Planning meetings are important for you and your child as they will set the learning journey for future academic and social and emotional development. It is important to share your knowledge of your child as we know ASD is a complex condition and school staff are still learning about the complexities. The teachers may have taught children with ASD before but as has been discussed earlier, if you have met one child with autism, you’ve met one child with autism. For example your child may have a specific schedule that they respond to, to help them understand the requirements of their day.
It is important to come to each meeting prepared; you need to think about your approach to the meeting; what do I need to discuss? You need to organise your documents in order to share the knowledge of your child and you need to do this in a way that communicates this to the school in order for them to support your child.