Monday, April 23, 2012

How one Independent Educational Consultant helped a few families; 4204 times..


It sounds like a pretty benign number, but to me 4204 it was pretty amazing, you see 4204 was the number of texts I sent and received last month. Now certainly there were quite a few to and from friends and family; for example I remember a rather amusing exchange I had with my 16 year old daughter when we on a basketball trip together, but many of them were to and from therapists, parents, and clients; in short many of them were team texts.

What is a team text you ask? Well, that’s a legitimate question. To answer that you need to know that so much of what I aspire to do is to develop a team approach to working with my families. I incorporate therapists, teachers, coaches, and family friends; anyone who will help me paint a picture. Included in that team, of course, are the parents, and the kids (disclaimer, I refer to all of my clients as kids, I know it’s not right, and most likely not politically correct. Maybe for the over 18 year old kids I should use the phrases young adults, or persons of emerging maturity – yes I just made that up - but I don’t, sorry) So a team text is a correspondence between/amongst the team to help share information. It may be as simple as a change in time of a weekly call, or it may be as significant as updates from a transport agent or therapist. In any case, the immediacy of these team texts really helps in putting out a metaphorical fire or perhaps allows a Mom or Dad to sleep a bit better knowing their child is safe.

You see when we are retained by a family, I always tell them a variation of the phrase; contact me at any time, phone, fax, email, and yes, text. Many of my fellow IEC’s cringe at this, but I feel it’s important. If you have read my blog before you know that I use my role as an IEC as a modified case manager and it’s in that role that I often team text. I feel it’s imperative that the families know that they have me in their corner, and I have found that while they will never replace face to face or a phone call, these texts really help many families.

It’s a scary time for a lot of the families who hire us, and I like to think that doing some case management; spending lots of time on the phone listening to insights and offering advice and, yes, being available when they need me, makes this tumultuous time a little less scary for everyone.

Oh, gotta go…you guessed it, just got a text!