Over the years I have learnt a lot of what I feel are helpful hints in relation to LST meetings or even general meetings with the school. Firstly, the function of these meetings are to make sure the needs of the student are being met and it is important to remember this. It is not about the school and what is right for them it is about what is right for the child. I think sometimes this gets forgotten.
I would like to share with you some other hints I hope assist any families that are new to this process or families who feel a little overwhelmed or nervous about their LST Meeting.
- Try and be confident, know what you want to discuss, what you believe is needed to assist your child and any concerns, solutions or ideas you would like to be put in place or discussed.
- Be willing to be a little flexible or ready to compromise but not at the expense of what you believe is needed for your child.
- Until your confident in meetings make sure you have support which could be your health team or a family member. Meetings can be very overwhelming and having support can help your emotionally. But remember it is still your meeting so don’t let them take over it is important that it is still driven by you.
- At the beginning I found it better to have as many of our team (physio, speechy, OT etc) attend meetings with us. This meant issues weren’t missed and I had the support I needed to get our concerns across.
- Have tissues at the ready – these meetings can be quite overwhelming and emotional.
A really helpful hint I have found is to have a notebook with all questions, issues and concerns written down before attending a meeting to help keep the meeting on task and to make sure all issues get dealt with and to make notes of outcomes to refer back to. If a lot is talked about in these meetings it is easy to forget things that are discussed.
After a few meetings you should become more relaxed and confident and be able to attend on your own. You still do have the option to have your support team attend with you as required.
I hope these help and good luck. I’d love to hear your experiences with meetings and any other tips you may have.