We have created this unique method of training for the use of
parents who are either already a part of Parent Network and
who have not had the opportunity to attend our day-long training
workshop, or for parents who would like to join this Parent
Network of Supporting Parents and are unable, at this time, to
attend a training workshop.
Of course, on-line training and education cannot adequately
substitute for the direct, face-to- face experience of the
workshop; however, it will give you great training and information
for being a Supporting Parent, and it does have certain advantages
to it. You can access this on-line training any time, day or night,
and can complete it at your own pace. This "pace" will give you
some time to really think about all the material presented. The
final "test" (don't worry, it's just a final, non-graded essay--not
a real test :-) will give you an opportunity to think and write
about your experience as a parent of a child with a special need.
You will be given your own, private password in this program and
can use it to access your training account anytime.
Each module can be read at your own pace. At the end of each module
you will be asked to read this statement: "I have read all this
module and understand it." Then you will click on the button
'which says "Next Module." You will not be able to go on to the
next module until you have clicked on this button. It will be best
if you finish a full module (or more) each session. Then, each time
you log on to the program you will automatically go to the module
that is next for you in the sequence.
When you have finished all the modules there will be the
opportunity to write a final, brief essay which includes 1) your
experience as a parent raising a child with special need, 2) what
you have to offer another, new parent that you would match with,
and 3) your understanding of the roles and responsibilities and
limitations of a Supporting Parent.
Once you have completed the whole training and submitted your
essay on-line we will have a cadre of two to four veteran supporting
parents who will read your essay and leave their thoughts and
responses to it. They will also leave their email addresses, for
you to correspond with them about the Supporting Parent experience
if you wish to do so. This system will substitute somewhat for the
lack of face-to-face interaction by the on-line training.
Also, upon signing up as a Supporting Parent, you will be assigned
a veteran Supporting Parent who will make a direct phone call to
you to welcome you to the Parent Network and then will be available
by phone and/or email all during your on-line training process --
to discuss ideas and questions and supply a more personal touch to
the training process. This mentor parent will also be available for
consultation when you get your first Match.
While Supporting Parent training - whether on-line or in a
workshop - can never substitute for basic experience combined with
common sense, the training will enhance your capacity to relate to
new/referred parents in a productive and helpful way. As a result
of this you will:
Finally, the P2PNH Coordinator will also be available during the
training steps, and will also give you a phone call, as well as
review and respond to your final essay.
- Have a better awareness of the history and philosophy of
Parent to Parent
- Have a firm understanding of the Supporting Parent role
with its responsibilities, its expectations, its limits,
its value for new or referred parents
- Know the steps and procedures of matching up with any parent
- Have a better understanding of how to share your own
experiences - of raising a child having special needs - with
- Acquire additional communication skills and empathic listening
- Have a better awareness of available community resources
- Acquire some more information about various disabilities