Questions to Ask About the Child

To increase your success in interacting with children with disabilities, ask parents, teachers, therapists, or caregivers the following practical questions.

  1. Does this child have any drink, food and/or environmental allergies, including potentially life-threatening reactions?
  2. What language does this child speak or hear at home?
  3. How does this child best communicate? (Examples include using a communication board, taking more time, taking frequent breaks, needing a patient listener.)
  4. How does this child best communicate basic needs (e.g., needing a break for restroom; wants water or break; is cold, hot, etc.)?
  5. What are signs that this child is becoming tired or frustrated, or needs help?
  6. What tends to make this child anxious?
  7. What is reassuring, soothing, and calming to this child (certain toys, music, writing, being outside, stuffed animals, places)?
  8. What do other people like about this child?
  9. What is important to this child?
  10. What supports does this child need during the day?
  11. What behaviors may be misunderstood by others but are typical for this child?
  12. Are there certain things that trigger or cause this child to become upset?
  13. What is helpful when this child is angry, upset, or acting out?
  14. This information was provided by:
  15. Relationship to child:

(Adapted from personal communication with R. Alexander, SAFE.)