“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.”
"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 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."
“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.”
“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 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 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 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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“The authors capture the range of family and provider experiences, communication styles, and strategies that create effective partnerships. This book is a critically important read for families, providers, and especially for preservice students entering professions in which they will work with children and families.”
“As I read this book, I realized that I kept switching back and forth from my ‘professional’ hat to my ‘parent’ hat. Helping us to switch hats is the real power of this work. The personal stories highlight well-documented themes in the literature on parent and professional perspectives. The strategies are practical and effective. This is a text I will revisit often.”
“This is a wonderful reference book to help parent and professionals ‘dance the dance’ together and avoid any missteps. The authors help readers understand the underlying thoughts of both the parent and the professional when they meet to set up a program. This is a sure read for both parents and education professionals.”
“The authors waltz us through steps to develop effective parent-professional partnerships using dance as a metaphor. When practiced by all participants in the dance, the result is mutual understanding and respect: the core of collaborative relationships. Theirs is a fresh approach to a much-discussed subject—a delightful invitation to dance.”
“In my 15 years of teaching, I have not come across a book that so eloquently describes the sensitive relationship between schools and parents as they navigate through the special education process. Using dancing as a metaphor for this delicate relationship, the authors provide an easy-to-read manual that perfectly compliments a college class or professional book study.”
“This book’s valuable information and insights make it a ‘must read’ for everyone involved in the special education process. I will refer to this book frequently as it reminds me of the often unsaid feelings and concerns of parents. The authors provide numerous useful approaches so that all parties can collaborate and do what is best for the child.”
“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!"
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”