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“Brilliantly written from the differing vantage points of both parents and professionals, this book shows how perceptions and assumptions can be falsely formed between ‘opponents.’ Use this knowledge to develop the strong partnerships necessary for parents and professionals to collaborate and support the needs of students!"
“I love this book. It helps people to truly walk in someone else’s footprints. This guide will show beginning teachers and other professionals how to build successful relationships with their students' parents.”
“So often in special education, the people involved share the same goal, yet envision a different path to achieve that goal. The authors remind us that our ultimate goal is the same. They show us how, even in the most difficult situations, we can ‘dance’ together in successful collaboration.”
"If parents and professionals could wear out their shoes by dancing the way Fialka, Feldman, and Mikus describe it in this book, the shoes would indeed be worth pressing against one’s heart. Through stories, the authors expertly choreograph the steps families, professionals, and the children must take to foster this essential relationship—like a waltz: one, two, three."
“This book offers important suggestions for finding a way to dance together, reminding us exactly why we are dancing—for the child. I strongly recommend this text to parents and professionals. The real-life examples will help all parties understand and empathize with each other, making it that much easier to dance together.”
"This book beautifully reminds us that social change happens through listening, dialogue, and engagement. Beneath our roles as professionals and parents, these authors gently help us to remember that 'we are all people first,' and through empathy we can find ways to sidestep—or dance— around many of the missteps that lead to misunderstanding and conflict. This book is a wonderful resource for anyone trying to navigate the complexities of supporting and advocating for disabled students in inclusive classrooms."
“The parent-professional relationship can be awkward, so using the metaphor of learning to dance together to benefit children is apt. With the resources to help children shrinking, it is more vital than ever for parents and professionals to forge strong partnerships. This perspective can really help—highly recommended.”
“A mother who found her calling through fate or accident—and never looked away or glanced back—Janice Fialka is internationally renowned for her relentless, never-say-never advocacy. She and her coauthors offer hope and wisdom for parents who would see more clearly into the lives of their children—disabled or not—and for every professional who would engage them.”
“The authors have done the near impossible—they have described the process of partnership in a way that is both easily accessible and incredibly nuanced. They provide a developmental roadmap and the concrete tools we need to make partnerships work. In this book, I have finally found the resource I need.”
“Rarely does a book hold such promise for promoting genuine partnerships between families of children with disabilities and the professionals who participate in their care. The real-life passages from the authors, seasoned parents, and experienced professionals infuse this work with unparalleled authenticity.”
“The approach of this book is fresh, current and multifaceted without being complicated. The authors have skillfully woven multiple and complex family and professional perspectives into a well-integrated whole that is thoughtful, clear, and explicit. The material is relevant, useful, and extraordinarily helpful to a wide variety of dance partners.”
“The authors get right to the heart of parent-professional relationships. They deconstruct and reconstruct the difficult process of examining how parents and professionals communicate. The stories used to illustrate specific points are superb. We need this thoughtful and provoking perspective to encourage us to listen more closely to one another for the benefit our children.”
“This book comes from the heart of an author who knows both sides. The content is relevant, immediately useful, and encourages us to think deeply about ourselves and how we can apply the information to make a difference—all evidence-based components of effective adult learning.”
“This book accomplishes two impressive feats. First: it conveys, through information and examples, research-based practices for building family-professional partnerships. Second: the clear, storytelling style of writing makes it impossible to put down. This is a must for anyone whose responsibilities involve working with the families of children with disabilities.”
“The authors never forget that it is all about the children/students with disabilities—so the adults just need to figure it out! They include many subtle examples of how inclusion can work throughout the book. An important take-away message is that becoming true partners takes time and is a process.”
“The authors powerfully illustrate the ‘dance of partnership’ in complex and nuanced ways. They capture how things are in the real world of relationships between parents and professionals. The stories are moving, the perspectives insightful, and practical strategies and suggestions abound. I recommend this book as a superb source of guidance and support.”
“The authors help readers understand that relationships are about human needs and feelings and that partnerships only develop to their potential when each party can both share and listen to content and facts as well as the needs and feelings of the other. This book is destined to be a classic. Give it to someone you care about; and read it yourself reflectively.”
“This is a book written with a quality that is both honest and sensitive. The authors force us to put aside all other issues, reminding us what is real and essential in our pursuit of genuine student learning.”
“The authors of this book offer a welcomed, kind and needed message for both professionals and parents: slow the pace, stop and listen. The authors know we build each partnership one at a time. This is a message we desperately need to get into higher education and professional development communities.”
“Having attended many challenging problem-solving meetings, I know how important it is for families and professionals to keep open hearts and minds. This unique resource moves beyond the ‘how to’s’ of effective communication and reminds us of the values that are central to any great team—generosity, creativity, and a willingness to learn from one another.”