I was just having a conversation with my friend this morning and as we talked we got to a story about her son. He has special needs and has through the years gotten pretty good at “talking” about his feelings but not REALLY getting to the core of an issue or problem, when they are big ones.

She and I found ourselves discussing the importance of really, honest, productive communication. Sometimes it is hard due to the anxiety the person who is talking has or due to the struggles that the person hearing the conversation has, that can be a big player in the success of communication too!

You and I can probably both agree that there are just some people with whom you can REALLY talk, who just get you and others who are a bit harder to confide in. I, myself, am a big proponent of talking( You can ask my husband about this one!) communicating and sharing.

I have always stressed to my children the importance of talking and honesty. But it really does take both parties on the same page to be successful in a communication.

Flash to the phone call I got a bit ago from the school about conference night and how we need to schedule on line and how we get 15 minutes and how we need to be prompt as we begin our time and end ON time. Kind of gives you bit of anxiety already doesn’t it? I didn’t have to schedule one for my son . But it got me thinking of the conference times I had when Elizabeth was in school.

As you may know, Elizabeth is my daughter with special needs, she has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Global Dyspraxia both disorders require an open mindedness and a willingness to listen, process and learn. There were many times that we needed to teach the teacher.

So communication, good honest communication became the goal.

It became what we strived for in any and all conversations, written communications or emails. I

Flash to conference nights and IEP meetings, where nerves played a role. Where plans had to be talked about and where honest assessments had to be shared.

I found that good preparation for any and all times I spoke for Elizabeth was the way to ensure that all things I needed to say and wanted to say were said. I would review my notes, any therapist notes, communications from the school and anything I noticed at home.

I came prepared.

I also learned to come prepared whenever I am representing Elizabeth’s best wishes and plan, even now as she is 25 years old. She and I will talk and make plans together, but I am there if she cannot advocate for herself to the degree needed.

So if you are facing a conference night, talk with a teacher mid term or if any issues have arisen that you need to talk about to your child’s teacher, please prepare well, read notes, IEP’s and the like, represent your self and your child well, breath and know once you have prepared well, you are ready to go.

I wish everyone a peaceful week!

Michele Gianetti author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey”